Flu is a highly infectious illness that spreads rapidly through coughs and sneezes of people who are carrying the virus. It occurs every year, usually in winter.
Flu symptoms hit you suddenly and severely. They usually include fever, chills, headache and aching muscles and you often get a cough and sore throat at the same time.
Because flu is caused by a virus and not bacteria, antibiotics will not treat it.
People should not underestimate the effects of seasonal flu. It's not the same as getting a cold.
It can seriously affect your health and the risks of developing complications are greater if you have certain pre-existing medical conditions.
It is recommended that you have the seasonal flu vaccine if you are over 65 or suffer from:
- Chronic Respiratory Disease
- Chronic Heart Disease
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Chronic Neurological Disease
- Chronic Liver Disease
- Low Immunity
We will automatically try to contact all our 'at risk' patients annually when the latest 'flu jab' is released to us usually around October inviting them to attend our special Flu Clinic. The flu vaccine is also recommended if you are pregnant or a carer.
For more information go to: The Flu Vaccine -NHS and Child Flu Vaccine
For more information on the Child Flu Vaccine go to the links below:
Flu Vaccine - The Facts and Q&A for Parents re Child Flu Vaccine
Protecting your child against flu: Information for Muslim communities in Nottingham
Why should my child have the flu vaccine?
Influenza (flu) is a highly infectious viral infection of the respiratory tract (the nose, throat and lungs). Flu can be a very unpleasant illness for children causing fever, stuffy nose, dry cough, sore throat, aching muscles and joints and extreme tiredness and can result in serious complications that lead to hospitalisation. An estimated 600 people including children die each year from flu in the UK.
The flu virus is variable and unpredictable, with different strains of the virus circulating and making people unwell. A new vaccine has to be prepared and administered each year to protect against flu. The children’s flu programme is extremely important. Flu can be a nasty illness for children, for people with health problems and for older people. Having the vaccine will not only protect your child from the illness but also help to reduce the spread of flu to other members of the family and the wider community.
Where can I get the flu vaccine for my child?
The vaccine will be offered at GP Practices for all 2 and 3 year olds (children who were aged 2 or 3 on 31st August 2019).
The flu vaccine is being offered to all primary school-aged children in Nottingham this winter. Nurses will be visiting each school and giving children the flu vaccine as a nasal spray. The vaccine is provided for all children whose parents agree (‘consent’) for their children to be included in the programme, and parents will be sent a consent form.
Children with existing health conditions such as diabetes, serious heart conditions and kidney or liver disease will be invited to their GP Practice for an injectable flu vaccination with inactivated virus. This is offered as they are particularly vulnerable to complications of flu, and it is separate to the school programme.
How will the vaccine be given?
For most children, it is given as a nasal spray. The nasal flu vaccine (Fluenz Tetra) is used because it provides better and more long-lasting protection against the flu virus than any other form of vaccination. Delivering the vaccine by a nasal spray is also more comfortable than giving an injection.
How does the nasal spray work?
The nasal spray contains viruses that have been weakened to prevent them from causing flu but will help your child to build up immunity. This will help your child to fight off the infection, when they come into contact with the flu viruses.
What is the nasal vaccine made of?
The nasal flu vaccine contains the flu antigens, which are the active ingredients, and small amounts of added stabilisers, including gelatine that comes from pork. This porcine gelatine is highly purified and it is included as it makes the vaccine stable and effective, the manufacturers tested many different stabilisers and this was the only one that they could include.
Why is it important for my child to have the flu vaccine?
Some members of the British Muslim community consider the gelatine additive to be forbidden.
The flu vaccine is provided because of the health risks of contracting flu for children. Flu can be more dangerous for very young children, and they have the highest risk of flu-related complications like pneumonia, dehydration, and seizures, which can lead to brain damage. Chronic health conditions, such as asthma or diabetes, add to the risk and it is possible that children could die from these complications. The nasal vaccination is the best protection we can provide against contracting flu for children. There is no alternative vaccine available.
A Fatwa has been issued by the British Fatwa Council that concludes it is permissible to have the nasal vaccine.
Please see below for more information.
Child flu vaccine Fatwa - English
Child flu vaccine Fatwa - Urdu