Flu information


 

The children’s nasal spray flu vaccine is safe and effective. It’s offered every year to children to help protect them against flu.

Flu is caused by the influenza virus. It can be a very unpleasant illness for children. It can also lead to serious problems, such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

Children can catch and spread flu easily. Vaccinating them also protects others who are vulnerable to flu, such as babies and older people.

Who should have the nasal spray flu vaccine

The nasal spray flu vaccine is free on the NHS for:

  • children aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2021 – born between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2019
  • all primary school children (reception to year 6)
  • all year 7 to year 11 children in secondary school
  • children aged 2 to 17 years with long-term health conditions

If your child is aged between 6 months and 2 years and has a long-term health condition that makes them at higher risk from flu, they’ll be offered a flu vaccine injection instead of the nasal spray.

This is because the nasal spray is not licensed for children under 2 years.

The nasal spray vaccine offers the best protection for children aged 2 to 17 years. They will be offered the flu vaccine injection if the nasal spray vaccine is not suitable for them.

Where to have the flu vaccine

A table showing a child’s age and where the flu vaccine is available on the NHS.
Child’s age Where to have the flu vaccine
From 6 months until 2 years
(with long-term condition)
GP surgery
From 2 years until child
starts primary school
GP surgery
All children at primary school School
Year 7 to year 11 secondary school children School
Children in reception to year 11
(with long-term condition)
School or GP surgery
Home-schooled children
(same ages as reception to year 11)
Community clinic

Home-schooled children should be invited for vaccination by the local healthcare team. If you do not hear from them, ask your child’s GP where they should go for vaccination.

 

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