Parents in the City and Hackney are being urged to protect their children from the flu, by making sure they have the nasal spray vaccination this winter.

With the NHS facing its biggest challenge ever, it’s more important than ever that those at the highest risk of catching flu are protected. People aged over 50 and those with long term health conditions are also urged to have the vaccination.

Your child should have the nasal spray vaccine if they are:

  • Aged 2-3 years (born between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2018)
  • In primary school
  • In year seven
  • Aged 2-17 with long term health conditions

If your child is 2-3 you should book an appointment via your GP.

If your child is at school, make sure you complete the consent form for them to have the vaccine at school.

The Homerton Hospital health visiting team are offering flu vaccines to 2-3 year olds in Hackney at children’s centres on 14 and 15 November 2020. To find out more please call 0207 683 2669 or 07787 845702.


Does the vaccine give you the flu?

No. There is a widely-held perception that having the flu vaccine can give you a mild form of flu. This is just a myth.

Will my child have any side effects?

Most people don’t experience any adverse effects, however the most common side effects are general aches and pains, a rash at the injection site and feeling tired. These will usually go away within a day or two.

Why is the flu vaccine important?

Influenza – flu – is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalisation and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently, but millions of people get the flu every year.

An annual, seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to help protect against flu. This year that is more important than ever. Coronavirus hasn’t gone away, and the NHS is preparing for its busiest ever winter. We need to do everything we can to protect the NHS and make sure its resources – including hospital beds – are not unnecessarily stretched.

If everyone who is eligible gets the flu vaccine, fewer people will get the flu, giving the NHS more time and space to look after other patients across Hackney and the City.

Who should get the flu vaccine?

From September the flu vaccine is being offered on the NHS to:

  • Adults 65 and over
  • People with certain medical conditions (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months of age)
  • Pregnant women
  • People living with someone who’s at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
  • Children aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2020
  • Children in primary school
  • Children in year 7 (secondary school)
  • Frontline health or social care workers

Later in the year, the flu vaccine may be given to all people aged 50 to 64. More information will be available later in the winter. However, if you’re aged 50 to 64 and in an at-risk group, you should not delay having your flu vaccine.

Frontline health and social care workers are also eligible to receive the flu vaccine. Workers in this sector should speak to their employer about workplace vaccination dates.

Is the flu nasal spray vaccine okay to use for Jewish and Muslim children?

Yes! Both the adult vaccine and the children’s nasal spray have been approved by Rabbi Avrohom Adler from the Kashrus and Medicines Information Service in Gateshead, who has advised the Government on kashrus issues. The Muslim Council of Britain has advice and the British Fatwa Council / Karimia Institute has issued a fatwa permitting children’s nasal flu vaccine for Muslims. If you have any questions please contact your GP or pharmacist who will be happy to discuss your options.

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