Local mum, Lucy, has decided to get her toddler vaccinated against flu this winter.
After receiving a text from her GP inviting him for a vaccine during September, she booked a slot online.
Lucy works for the NHS and was reassured by her nurse and doctor colleagues that getting the flu vaccine will help protect her son against flu and serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia.
Lucy, from Surrey, said:
I remember when a friend asked if I was planning to get my son vaccinated against flu I knew I wanted some more information before deciding.
My first concern was whether it was safe for him and I had other questions including why he should get a vaccine when he’s so fit and healthy.
I spoke with a colleague who’s a doctor and she reassured me that she understood where I was coming from.
She told me about the medical research that has been carried out and how it all shows that the flu vaccine is safe for children.
No injection is needed and the vaccine is given as a painless nasal spray.
She didn’t put any pressure on me or rush me into deciding, she suggested I look at the NHS parent information leaflet to find answers to common questions about the flu vaccine and children.
It mentions possible side effects like a runny nose, headache, feeling tired and going off food but thankfully we’ve not had any of these apart from the usual runny nose most toddlers have at this time of year!
After getting the facts about how safe the flu vaccine is and about the health risks of catching flu, it didn’t take me long to make up my mind.
Getting the vaccination will help protect him, his grandparents and our family and friends from getting flu.
It also reduces the chance I’d have to take time off work to look after him if he was unwell with flu.
So when I received a text from my GP offering him a flu vaccination I booked an appointment straight away.
I was surprised just how easy the whole process was.
After I got the text, booking the appointment online took less than a minute and the nasal spray was so quick and pain-free.
It’s really important for me to help my son learn how to look after his health and understand interactions with healthcare professionals.
The nurse was so friendly and explained everything and even made the process fun, so we were both relaxed and comfortable.
Dr Anita Raina, Horley GP said:
6,000 under 5s ended up in hospital because of flu.
The child flu vaccine reduces your child’s chance of needing hospital care for flu by around two thirds and helps prevent it spreading among vulnerable family and friends.
The vaccine is usually given as a quick and painless spray up the nose.
Book your 2 or 3 year old’s vaccine at their GP surgery or, if your child is of school age, make sure to look out for and sign their consent form.
Get your child vaccinated against flu. Get winter strong.