Flu vaccination for children
The children's flu vaccine is safe and effective. It's offered every year to children to help protect them.
Flu is caused by the influenza virus. It can be a very unpleasant illness for children and can lead to serious problems such as bronchitis and pneumonia.
Children can catch and spread flu easily. Vaccinating them also protects others who are vulnerable to flu, such as babies and older people.
Who should have the flu vaccine
The flu vaccine is free on the NHS for:
- children aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2022 (born between 1 September 2018 and 31 August 2020)
- all primary school children (Reception to Year 6)
- some secondary school aged children
- children aged 2 to 17 years with long-term health conditions
If your child is aged between 6 months and 2 years and has a long-term health condition, they will also be offered the flu vaccine.
Where to have the flu vaccine
- Children between 6 months and 2 years with a long-term condition will have the flu vaccine at their GP surgery
- Anyone over 2 who has not yet started primary school will have the flu vaccine at their GP surgery
- All children at primary school can be vaccinated at school
- Eligible secondary school children will be vaccinated at school
- Eligible children of any age with a long-term health condition can be vaccinated at school or at their GP practice
- Eligible children who are home – schooled or not in mainstream education will be invited to a community clinic.
Which vaccination should my child have?
The nasal flu vaccination is the best way of protecting your children against the serious effects of flu, however it does contain very small traces of pork gelatine. If you do not want your child to have the nasal flu vaccination they can have an injectable flu vaccine that does not contain pork gelatine. When you fill out your child’s consent form please make sure you tick one box for either the nasal spray or the injection: do not tick both.