Children aged two, three and four years old across Lincolnshire will be offered the single dose nasal spray flu vaccine, Fluenz Tetra.
The needle-free vaccine is an alternative to the traditional injectable flu vaccine, which will continue to be offered to those aged 65 and over, pregnant women, carers and adults and babies (aged six months to two years) with a long-term medical condition.
The Fluenz immunisation is a simple, painless nasal spray that protects children against many strains of the flu virus. Introduced last year for healthy two and three year olds, the vaccine has been used safely and effectively in the USA for over 10 years.
The NHS continues to roll out the nasal spray with four year olds receiving the vaccine this year and some secondary school children have been offered the vaccine as part of a pilot scheme in selected schools nationwide.
Dr Miles Langdon, Chair of NHS South Lincolnshire CCG, explained:
“Flu is a serious illness in children. Some children develop a very high fever or complications such as bronchitis, pneumonia and painful middle ear infection. They may need hospital treatment, and in serious cases, a child may die from flu.
The vaccine is the best possible protection against the flu virus. It’s quick and painless and will mean your child is less likely to become ill if they come into contact with the flu virus.
Parents or carers of children aged two, three and four will be contacted by their GP about getting their child vaccinated before the winter. If you don’t hear anything, or you want more information about when and how your child will be vaccinated against flu, talk to your GP or practice nurse."