Prepare your 'super-spreaders' - aka children – for their flu vaccination

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Flu is horrible! It's not just a heavy cold and for children, it can lead to serious complications which they may then need hospital treatment.  This is why all children who are aged 2 and 3 years old, or in primary school, will be offered the flu vaccination this winter.

Children are also 'super-spreaders' - they're in regular close contact so can easily and unwittingly help with the spread of the virus, in turn passing flu onto other, more vulnerable members of their family.

Across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, teams will be going into schools to make sure as many children as possible are vaccinated and the local NHS wants to make sure that parents, guardians and children know what to expect.

Dr Shammy Noor, GP in Lichfield and Chair of South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), says: "There are five reasons to you protect your child against flu.

"Firstly, it will protect your child.  Flu can have a lot of significant side effects and complications such as bronchitis or pneumonia. By giving your child a flu vaccine they're far less likely to develop flu.

"Secondly, you protect yourself and your family by not introducing the flu virus into the household, so other people in the household would also be protected.

"Reason number three, it's not an injection. The flu vaccines are given to children by a nasal spray. It's quick, easy, harmless and painless.

"Four - the vaccination itself has been tested worldwide and is known to be very, very safe. It's far safer to have the flu vaccine than to develop flu itself.

"And finally, reason five, if your child gets flu not only is it a horrible experience for them, it can be very inconvenient to you. You may need to arrange alternative childcare or take time off work so can have a big impact on your time."

In England, flu vaccine should be offered to all children who are aged two to ten years old (but not eleven years or older) on 31 August 2019.