A mum has spoken about the terrifying moment her eight-year-old son was rushed to hospital with flu and ended up on a ventilator in intensive care.
Janine Riley, from Cornwall, says Henry went from being a 'fit and healthy' schoolboy who loved playing rugby, to struggling to breathe properly or walk along a corridor.
He was fine one day, playing rugby, came home with a tummy ache. We put him to bed with paracetamol and ibuprofen. The next day he was really poorly, very hot, struggled breathing, so we called an ambulance and within a few minutes he had been rushed to hospital.
Read more: GPs urge vulnerable patients to get flu jab
All primary school children are now eligible for a free flu vaccination, and Public Health England wants to increase the rate of youngsters being given the nasal spray.
Parents will be asked to complete a consent form allowing their child to be vaccinated.
Around 60 percent of school aged children in the South Wet took up the vaccine last year.
We are so pleased that Year 6 children are now eligible for the flu vaccine which means that all children in primary school can now have this vaccination at school. Flu is a really nasty bug and it is not like having a cold. It can have serious complications and can be life threatening.
Last year 62 per cent of school aged children had the vaccine in the South West.
If your child is in primary school they will be offered a free flu vaccination at the school.
The vaccine for children is no longer an injection; it is a simple nasal spray that takes a few seconds to administer.
However to be vaccinated, the flu vaccination school health team have to you’re your consent to give the vaccine and if this hasn’t been received your child may miss out.
People who are eligible for the flu vaccine this year include:
Adults aged 65 and over
Adults aged 18-64 with a chronic health condition
Children aged 2-3 via their GP practice
School children in years reception, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.
Health and social care workers
Morbidly obese people
For more information on the vaccine visit the flu pages on the NHS choices website at www.nhs.uk/child-flu