North East parents urged to get children vaccinated against flu as hospital cases rise

Children can get their flu vaccine in a simple nasal spray. Credit: PA

Parents and carers are being encouraged to make sure their children are vaccinated against flu following a rise in the number of people being hospitalised with the illness.

Figures from NHS show that nationally, that there were 3,746 patients in hospital each day with flu at the end of December 2022 - up from just 520 per day a month earlier.

At the same point in 2021, there were only 34 people in hospital with flu.

By mid December 2022, the highest proportion of flu admissions was among the over 85s and children under five.

Any children aged two to three or who are considered high risk can get an appointment to receive the vaccine through their GP surgery.

Parents of any children in reception or primary school, up to year six, should contact their local school-aged vaccination service.

The vaccine is also being offered to secondary school children in years seven, eight and nine.

Dr Kev Smith, Regional Director of Public Health Commissioning at NHS North East and Yorkshire, said: “The flu vaccine can protect young children from getting seriously ill and ending up in hospital.

"For most children aged two to three, it is a quick and painless spray up the nose which is administered in a GP surgery. If the nasal spray vaccine is not suitable for them, they will be offered a flu vaccine injection instead. More information can be found on the NHS website.”

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