Thanks to those who gave me feedback about the flu vaccine across my Instagram stories, it has been really interesting and I have been thinking about this a lot and having some great discussions with my friends at the NHS.
For the majority of children, the vaccine is given as a painless nasal (nose) spray, I took a quick vlog to give you an idea, which you can find here. Getting the vaccine only takes a few minutes, and takes around ten days to work. It will help to provide protection from flu for around a year and the flu vaccine doesn’t cause flu and is very safe and effective. Parents of 2-5 year olds in Scotland are being urged to act now and get their child ready to fight flu this winter. Those aged 2-5 years old (on 1 September 2018 and not yet in school) are eligible for the free flu vaccine at their GP practice from October. Flu can be serious, and can result in even healthy children being hospitalised. I experienced it with Bonnie when she was younger and it was horrendous. Making a vaccination appointment early means children will be protected ahead of winter hitting. Not only does it protect them, but those around them who may be vulnerable to flu.
I was asked on my social channels about why a 1 year old child cannot get the vaccine and here is the offical response:
The nasal spray flu vaccine is not offered to children under 2 years as the vaccine is not recommended for this age group. Children of all ages with a long-term medical condition are offered the flu vaccine from 6 months of age.
I also wanted to note some feedback I had from one of my lovely readers. This comment is very powerful and has got me thinking:
‘It’s really tough when it comes to vaccinations, but to be honest there are loads of other vaccines that the NHS could be offering – chickenpox for example – that most other developed countries offer as standard, especially if they don’t have an NHS equivalent. However the NHS just can’t afford to do that, so the fact that they are offering the flu jab to those most in need tells me that they believe this is a necessary precaution – because if there is a flu epidemic, people die, lots of people and especially those who are young, elderly or have compromised immunity. The healthy people in society need to be making sure that the chances of this happening are as slim as possible.’
At the moment my polls suggest that the vast majority are getting it. Just another reminder to think about it. I respect that we all have a choice and I speak to some parents who choose not to make an appointment at the GP for their younger kids who are not yet at school to receive it. I have been really thinking about this lately and the NHS want to raise awareness about why this vaccine is so important. 2017 was a bad year for flu, with lots of people suffering with the virus or ending up in hospital. Of course, I want to keep my own kids safe, but I have also been thinking about the safety of others – such as friends living with conditions with a weakened immune system due to cancer and also older family members who may be more fragile. I am very much in the ‘pro vaccine’ team and would encourage as many parents and carers as possible to get this booked up. It doesn’t take long and is pain free for your little one. What are your thoughts? I would love to hear more. Either way, I am wishing you all a healthy and happy Winter 2018. It’s time to get cosy, embrace the dark nights and start thinking about the Christmas movie nights, mince pies and brandy cream. Oh and I hear Baileys is on offer this week, you heard it here first.