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Flu and young children

The children's flu vaccine is offered as a yearly nasal spray to young children to help protect them against flu.

Flu can be a very unpleasant illness for children, with potentially serious complications, including bronchitis and pneumonia.


At what age should children have the nasal spray flu vaccine?

In the autumn/winter of 2019-20, the vaccine will be available free on the NHS for eligible children, including:

  • children aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2019 – that is, children born between 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2017
  • all primary school children
  • children aged 2 to 17 with long-term health conditions

Who will give the children's flu vaccination?

Children aged 2 and 3 will be given the vaccination at their general practice, usually by the practice nurse.

Children who are 4 years old are also eligible for flu vaccination provided they were 3 on 31 August 2019.

These children should be offered the vaccination at their general practice.

Primary school children will be offered their vaccination in school. In a couple of areas, it might be offered in primary care settings.

Children who are home educated will also be offered the vaccine, provided they're in an eligible age group.

Parents can get information about how to arrange this from their local NHS England Public Health Commissioning team.

 
Five reasons to vaccinate your child against flu: 
  1. Protect your child. The vaccine will help protect your child against flu and serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia  
  2. Protect you, your friends and family. Vaccinating your child will help protect more vulnerable friends and family
  3. No injection needed. The nasal spray is painless and easy to have
  4. It’s better than flu. The nasal spray helps protect against flu, has been given to millions of children worldwide and has an excellent safety record  
  5. Avoid costs. If your child gets flu, you may have to take time off work or arrange alternative childcare.

For more information

For more information about Children’s flu vaccine visit the NHS website.

Flu Vaccine