Parents of children and young people with underlying health conditions are being urged to protect their child from flu, by making sure they receive their flu vaccine.
While across the UK supplies of the children’s vaccine are temporarily limited, NHS Lothian is ensuring that those most at risk, including all children aged 2-5 and those aged 5-18 with underlying health conditions, are prioritised. As well as these groups, it is expected that this year’s School Vaccination Programme will also be fully completed.
Underlying health conditions that may make a child more vulnerable to flu include asthma, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, neurological disease, diabetes, immunosuppression and not having a fully working spleen.
Alison McCallum, director of public health and health policy, NHS Lothian said:“The flu vaccine remains the best defence we have against flu and helps protect those people who are most vulnerable.
“Across the UK there is currently a temporary delay in supplies of the children’s nasal spray flu vaccines, however we are working hard to ensure that this doesn’t cause impact on those children and young people who need the vaccine most.
“As a result, we are prioritising our current supplies for children aged between 2-5 years old and those aged 5-18 years with underlying health conditions.
“While we have had to reschedule some school sessions, we remain committed to completing the full School Vaccination Programme and have already completed sessions in over 130 schools.
“By November 22 this figure will have increased to 179 schools – 70 per cent of all primary schools across Edinburgh and the Lothians.
“Last year, through the work of our Community Vaccination Team, 47,000 primary school children were protected against flu.”
More information on child flu vaccinations at: www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/immunisation/vaccines/child-flu-vaccine#overview.