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CMO raises concern at drop in toddlers having flu vaccination

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Parents are being urged to vaccinate their toddlers against flu to protect them from severe illness this winter.

Children aged two, three and four are known as “superspreaders”, because they are more likely to infect lots of people.

“Giving two, three and four-year-olds the free nasal spray really is in everyone’s interests if you want to help avoid a miserable winter for all the family”

Sally Davies

They are eligible for a free nasal spray flu vaccine from their GP but just a quarter of toddlers have received it so far.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England, expressed concern that fewer parents were using the spray compared to this time last year.

She said: “Flu can be really nasty for toddlers, leading to time off nursery which has a big impact on mums and dads and sometimes even a stay in hospital.

Sally DaviesSally Davies

“They also spread the virus easily and often pass flu to grandparents and other relatives who can become very ill, fast.

“Giving two, three and four-year-olds the free nasal spray really is in everyone’s interests if you want to help avoid a miserable winter for all the family,” she added.

Pregnant women, under-65s with long-term illnesses and over-65s are also eligible for the free spray on the NHS.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • I wish they'd pushed this sooner! They should emphasise the vaccine expires at the end of December-but no-one has pointed this out. Late availability of vaccine did not help either. Campaigns for flu are always too late.

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