Parents urged to get their kids protected against flu
Parents are being encouraged to get their two and three year olds vaccinated against flu. It comes after figures released by the local health authority show that, in the Wakefield district, the number of children receiving the vaccine is below the national average.
So far this year, only a small number of parents in the Wakefield district have taken their children to their GP to be vaccinated. Only 29% of two year olds and 31% of three year olds have been given the vaccine.
Flu is a very common infection in babies and children. It can be very unpleasant for them and they may need hospital treatment, and very occasionally a child may die from flu. Healthy children under the age of 5 are more likely to be admitted to hospital with flu than any other age group.
Anna Hartley, Director of Public Health said: "There is still time for parents to make an appointment to get their child vaccinated.
"The sooner the better, for the sake of the child, because as the weather turns colder so the risk of catching flu gets higher.
"The vaccine is given as a nasal spray and it's very quick and painless for the child.
"Many people think that only older people suffer the most from flu. Unfortunately that is not the case and we need to remind parents and carers that prevention is better than cure."
63% of adults, over the age of 65, have been given the flu jab. For at risk adults, under the age of 65, the rate is 40% which is about the same and in some cases higher than the national average.
Councillor Pat Garbutt, Cabinet Member for Adults and Health said: "I am really pleased to see that residents have listened to our advice and are getting themselves vaccinated.
"I know it can be hard, especially at this time of year, to find the time to take your child to see the GP or nurse but it is time worth spending as it gives you protection and peace of mind."
For advice and information about the flu vaccine contact your GP, practice nurse or pharmacist, or read Public Health England's vaccination leaflet.