Kids turn flu fighters for vaccinations

Emily Sutherland, Chloe Brodlie and Elie McNaughton from the Mothergoose nursery in Lunanhead with their protection gear on for keeping away the flu with a nasal spray instead of an injection.
Emily Sutherland, Chloe Brodlie and Elie McNaughton from the Mothergoose nursery in Lunanhead with their protection gear on for keeping away the flu with a nasal spray instead of an injection.

Children at the Mothergoose Toddler Group are among the first in the area to be protected against flu under a new vaccination programme.

The youngsters at the Lunanhead group were recently vaccinated using the Fluenz nasal spray as part of an extension to the Scottish Government’s annual seasonal flu campaign.

It aims to both protect the children from infection and reduce the chance of them passing the virus to others, particularly older and vulnerable, family members.

The children were transformed into flu-fighting superheroes for the day to demonstrate how the vaccine keeps them safe from the effects of flu.

Children are two to three times as likely to be ill with flu than adults and the vaccine will be given to all two and three-year-olds at GP surgeries throughout Scotland this winter as part of a continuing roll-out of the programme. Over the next few years, children between two and 17 years old will be offered vaccination.

Angela Brodlie, a parent at Mothergoose Toddler Group, said: “It will help protect the children who attend our group from getting ill, and will also prevent them from passing the illness on to family members. The childhood flu vaccination will make Mothergoose Toddler Group a much healthier place over the winter months.”

Dr Nicola Steedman, the Scottish Government’s senior medical officer, reinforced the importance of children getting immunised.

She said: “Every year we see examples of how devastating flu can be for children, particularly the youngest ones who have little immunity to the infection.

“The childhood vaccination is being administered using a nasal spray, as this is more effective in children and has the added benefit of making it as simple as possible for children to get vaccinated and be protected.”