An appeal has gone out to the parents of two and three year olds to protect their children against flu.
Knowsley’s Public Health team is encouraging parents of children age two and three to attend their GPs for the free flu nasal spray vaccination this winter.
Recent statistics from Public Health England show that take-up of the flu vaccination among two and three year olds in the Knowsley area is currently the lowest in Cheshire and Merseyside.
Up to 31 October, just 14.3% of two year olds and 15.9% of three year olds received the flu vaccination compared to the national target of between 40% – 65%.
Matt Ashton, Director of Public Health for Knowsley and Sefton said: “Flu can be a very serious illness, so it is very important for children to be vaccinated with the free flu vaccine so they can stay well.
“Healthy children under the age of five are more likely to be admitted to hospital with flu than any other age group. We know that if we vaccinate children against flu this also protects their grandparents and other people in the community who are more at risk of developing serious complications.
“Our message is to get your two and three year old children vaccinated against flu at the GP as soon as possible before flu starts to spread, in order to protect them and their grandparents.”
It is also important to vaccinate children to help to curb infection over the holiday season when family get-togethers have the potential to spread the infection, putting grandparents and other vulnerable relatives at risk.
Without the flu vaccination, children are more likely to catch flu at nursery or school and then spread the virus at a rapid rate, posing a particular risk to the elderly and other people at higher risk.
Visit the NHS website for more details on how to help you and your family to stay well this winter.