A government-backed health body is urging parents to vaccinate their children against the flu, as a new campaign to raise awareness among families and high risk groups gets underway.
Public Health England (PHE) – a Department of Health initiative – is calling on parents to immunise their children this winter, amid the launch of the largest ever child vaccination programme.
This year, children in year three will be offered the jab alongside two-four year olds and children in year one and two. This means that 600,000 more children could receive the jab than in previous years.
According to figures released by PHE, 13 per cent of parents have never given the vaccination a thought and a third think that flu is just a severe cold. Figures also show that just under half of all pregnant women got immunised last year.
Shruti Morjaria, a mother-of-two from London, said: “My daughter contracted pneumonia two years ago and almost lost her life. My mum also has respiratory issues, so getting my children vaccinated not only protects them but it protects her and any other vulnerable people we come in contact with.”
Backing the campaign, London-based doctor Dr Saral Anand added: “Let’s be clear on the facts, flu can cause serious complications for pregnant women and their babies. The safest way to help protect them both is the flu vaccine.”