A needle-free nasal spray helps protect young children against flu.
Flu can be a very unpleasant illness for children, with potentially serious complications, including bronchitis and pneumonia.
At what age should children have the nasal spray flu vaccine?
The vaccine is available to children over 2 years and under 18 years of age.
Who administers the children’s flu vaccination?
Specialist vaccine nurses at Fleet Street Clinic give the flu vaccine to children.
Children at higher risk from Flu
Children aged 2 to 17 with long-term health conditions such as diabetes are at higher risk from flu.
It’s especially important that they are vaccinated with the annual flu nasal spray instead of the annual flu jab, which they were previously given.
Children between the ages of six months and two years who are at high risk from flu are offered the annual flu jab, usually at their GP surgery.
What are the side effects of the Flu vaccine for children?
The nasal spray flu vaccine has few side effects – most commonly getting a runny nose after vaccination for a few days.
How is the nasal spray Flu vaccine given?
The vaccine is given as a single spray squirted up each nostril. As well as being needle-free, the nasal spray is quick, painless, and works even better than the injected flu vaccine.
The vaccine is absorbed very quickly. It will still work even if, after the vaccination, your child develops a runny nose, sneezes or blows their nose.
Should you ever delay having the nasal spray flu vaccine?
If a child is heavily blocked up or has a runny nose, it might stop the vaccine from getting into their system. In this case, their flu vaccination should be postponed until their nasal symptoms have cleared up.
If a child is wheezy, their vaccination should be postponed until they have been wheeze-free for at least three days.
Are there any children who should not have the nasal spray Flu vaccine?
There are a few children who should avoid the nasal spray flu vaccine.
The vaccine is not recommended for children who have:
- a severely weakened immune system
- severe egg allergy
- asthma – those being treated with steroid tablets or high-dose inhaled steroids
- an allergy to any of the vaccine ingredients, such as neomycin
Children unable to have the nasal spray vaccine may be able to have the injectable flu vaccine instead.
Why are children offered Flu vaccines?
Flu is a very common infection in babies and children. It can be very unpleasant for them.
- Children with flu have the same symptoms as adults – including fever, chills, aching muscles, headache, stuffy nose, dry cough and a sore throat lasting up to a week.
- Some children develop a very high fever or complications of flu, such as bronchitis, pneumonia and a painful middle ear infection.
- They may need hospital treatment, and very occasionally a child may die from flu.
- In fact, healthy children under the age of five are more likely to be admitted to hospital with flu than any other age group.
- For children with long-term health conditions such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease or lung disease, getting flu can be very serious as they are more at risk of developing serious complications.
How safe is the Flu vaccine for children?
The flu vaccine for children has a good safety record. In the UK, millions of children have been vaccinated safely and successfully.
How does the children’s flu vaccine work?
The vaccine contains live but weakened flu viruses that do not cause flu in children. It will help your child build up immunity to flu in a similar way as natural infection, but without the symptoms.
Because the main flu viruses change each year, a new nasal spray vaccine has to be given each year, in the same way as the annual injectable flu vaccine.
Stopping the spread of Flu
The nasal spray flu vaccine will not only help protect your child against flu, but the infection will also be less able to spread from them to their family, carers and the wider population.
Children unintentionally spread flu because they generally don’t use tissues properly nor wash their hands as often.
Vaccinating children not only protects them but also protects others that are vulnerable to flu; such as babies, the elderly, pregnant women and people with serious long-term illnesses.
Above all, getting the flu vaccine will mean you and your family are protected against the flu interrupting your seasonal holidays.
How many doses of the Flu vaccine do children need?
Your child may require a second dose if your child has not received it before.
The nasal flu vaccine costs £40 and is administered by an expert nurse.
Nasal Spray Flu vaccine at Fleet Street Clinic
You can visit our flu clinic in central London to receive the nasal flu vaccine from Monday – Friday at Fleet Street Clinic; 29 Fleet Street, London, EC4Y 1AA. To book at appointment please click here.