Parents and Carers In Forth Valley Urged to Ensure 2-5 Year Olds are Vaccinated Against Flu

Parents and carers of children aged 2-5 in NHS Forth Valley are being urged to get their child immunised against flu, particularly as immunity levels may be lower this year.

Flu vaccination clinics for this age group are now underway in Forth Valley and appointment letters have been sent out inviting parents and carers of 2 to 5-year-olds to come forward for the free flu nasal spray. The spray is a quick and painless way of delivering the flu vaccine to children and won’t give the child flu. The letters will include details on where and when the vaccine will be given.

Fiona Coan, NHS Forth Valley’s Immunisation Team Manager, said: “Children aged between 2 and 5-years-old are eligible for the free flu vaccine and we have started inviting parents and carers to attend a vaccination appointment. It’s quick, painless and just feels like a tickle in their nose. Please do turn up at your appointment to get your 2 to 5-year-old immunised against flu to protect themselves and others this winter.”

Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Nicola Steedman, said: “Flu can be serious, even for healthy children and young people. That’s why we’re immunising all children aged 2 up to secondary school pupils in S6 against flu this year. With public health restrictions in place last year, everybody, including young children were not exposed to the flu virus and are likely to have lower immunity to flu than in previous years.

“I’d urge all parents and carers to take up the offer of getting the free flu vaccine for their child this year and help stop the spread of flu. The vaccine is safe and offers the best protection we have against flu.”

For more information about the flu vaccine, visit NHS Inform, call 0800 030 8013, or speak to a health or immunisation team, practice nurse, or GP.

If you have to reschedule your appointment, you can find information on doing this in your child’s vaccination letter.

This year, the following groups are eligible for the flu vaccine:

  • all those aged 50 years of age and over
  • those over 6 months of age with a medical condition which puts them in an ‘at risk’ group such as asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, heart and lung diseases, or autoimmune disorders
  • healthcare workers
  • social care workers who deliver direct personal care
  • unpaid and young carers
  • pregnant women (including those with at risk conditions)
  • children aged 2-5 years old (not yet at school)
  • primary school children
  • secondary school pupils
  • NHS independent contractors including GP, dental and optometry practices, community pharmacists and laboratory staff working on COVID-19 testing
  • teachers, nursery teachers and support staff in close contact with pupils (in both a local authority and independent setting)
  • prison staff and support staff in close contact with the prison population (delivering direct detention services)
  • those in the prison population