By Ian Dipple Friday 01 November 2013 Updated: 01/11 07:35
YOUNG children are to be offered the flu jab for the first time this winter in a bid to combat the spread of the virus.
A nasal spray will be available to vaccinate all two and three-year-olds across England. Eventually the plan is to vaccinate all children up to the age of 16 on an annual basis.
A recent study found children are key ‘spreaders’ of the flu virus and their close contact with others means they are more likely to transmit the virus to other vulnerable groups.
Public Health England and NHS England are also urging those at risk from flu to get their jab including those over 65, pregnant women, people with underlying health conditions and health and social care workers.
Almost 800 people were admitted to intensive care across the country last year with complications from flu.
Dr Bharat Sibal, PHE West Midlands consultant and flu specialist, said: “For the majority of people flu is an unpleasant, but not life-threatening illness, however it can be very serious for older people and groups at risk of developing complications including those with weakened immune systems, as well as people with underlying conditions such as neurological disorders, liver, lung or renal disease, heart problems or diabetes, and pregnant women.
“Vaccination remains the best way to protect against the potential serious harm from flu this winter.”
Residents should contact their GP surgery to find out how to get vaccinated.
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