Parents and carers in Hull have been urged to take the advice of doctors and other medical professionals when it comes to the flu vaccine.
Take-up is currently lower than usual for this time of year and as colder temperatures set in, the message is that it’s not too late to get the vaccine.
All primary age pupils as well as children who were aged two or three on August 31 this year should have the flu vaccine – along with any child aged two to 17 with a long-term health condition.
Dr James Crick, consultant in public health medicine and associate medical director at Hull City Council and Hull NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, said the severity of flu should not be underestimated.
“We shouldn’t talk about the flu vaccine without also talking about how serious flu can be,” he said. “It isn’t just having a bad cold. Flu will make most people feel very unwell and in its most serious cases can be fatal. On average, 8,000 people die every year from flu.
“It’s important to be aware of any misinformation and understand that the vaccine does not give you flu.
“The vaccine is also not based on out-of-date information. A number of factors are used to determine which strains of flu will be prevalent and all the information so far this year shows that the strains in the vaccines matches the main strain circulating this year.
“Getting vaccinated protects you and others in our communities by preventing them from coming into contact with the virus. The highest numbers of flu cases tend to be between December and February but there is still time to get vaccinated now, before the Christmas period truly starts.
“For children, the vaccine is a nasal spray rather than an injection.”
Primary age pupils should have received or be due to receive their vaccine in school – parents should check with a child’s school if they are unsure.
Parents with children aged two to three should book an appointment with their GP.
For more details about the flu vaccine and who should have it, visit the NHS website.