Flu vaccine for your toddlers

In line with the Department of Health national programme Brighouse GP surgeries are offering flu vaccine for children aged two to three-years.

Children must be that age on September 1, 2013.

The vaccine at Church Lane and Rydings Hall surgeries is in the form of a nasal spray so is needle free.

Children contribute considerably to the spread of flu to their nursery and school friends, families, and communities by shedding greater quantities of the virus for longer periods of time than adults.

The flu vaccine will continue to be offered to the ‘at risk’ groups, which also includes pregnant women. Other groups covered are the over 65’s and carers.

The surgeries both in Church Lane, Brighouse, are advising people who are most at risk of catching flu to make an appointment to get their flu jab - the earlier the better.

Church Lane Surgery is holding a day dedicated to giving flu jabs on October 2 and Rydings Hall Surgery have various sessions throughout October and November. Booking is essential.

Karen Saville, practice manager at Rydings Hall, said: “They would encourage all eligible patients to have the flu vaccine, in particular it is extremely important for those people in the ‘at risk’ groups to have the vaccine. The national flu programme is primarily about trying to contain and reduce the risk to others by being proactive. For example people who are carers and are caring for vulnerable people may become ill and are then unable to look after the vulnerable person.”

Jeanette Hellowell, business manager at Church Lane added: “The flu is still a big killer. You might just have a sniffle but these things can spread. It’s not just about you having the flu it can be the damage it does to others who catch it.”

They were also keen to point out that the flu vaccine does not give people the flu. “This is a myth,” said Jeanette. “It is impossible for the flu vaccine to give you the flu, as none of the components in the vaccine are live, only a live vaccine can cause the flu.”

Also introduced this year is a vaccine against shingles, which is being offered to patients aged 70 and 79 (Again they must be one of those two ages on September 1, 2013 to be eligible). Shingles is an infection of a nerve and the area of skin around it, and can cause a painful rash.

The programme will expand over the next few years to include more of the 70 to 79 age groups. Church Lane is inviting those eligible by letter for a clinic on September 20.

Please contact your surgery if you require any further information or wish to check your eligibility for any of these vaccinations. Church Lane can be contacted on 01484 714349 and Rydings Hall on 01484 715324 Mon – Fri after 11am.