Parents are being urged to get their child vaccinated for flu this year ahead of winter. 

NHS Lanarkshire is encouraging parents and carers to get the free, painless vaccine for their two to five-year-olds as immunity may be lower this year. 

The vaccine, in the form of a nasal spray, will not hurt at all and be very quick. It will also not give them flu. Letters inviting parents to bring their child are being sent out in Lanarkshire now, beginning with the youngest first. 

South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership's Locality Manager, Maureen Dearie, said: “If you have a child aged between two and five years who is not yet at school then we would encourage you to prioritise their flu vaccination appointment. If the appointment is not suitable, details of how to reschedule will be on the letter.

“The flu vaccine offers the best protection from flu this winter and can also help reduce additional pressures on the NHS caused by flu-related illness, so we’d urge all parents and carers to get their children vaccinated against flu this year.”  

The vaccine will start to protect kids around 10-14 days after getting it. As flu season approaches, it is important for youngsters to get the vaccine as soon as possible.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Nicola Steedman, said: “Flu can be serious, even for healthy children and young people. That’s why we’re offering flu vaccination to all children aged 2 and upwards to secondary school pupils in S6 this year. Flu season usually begins in December and the sooner your child is protected from flu, the better. It is likely that our immunity to flu is lower than in previous years due to lower levels of the flu viruses circulating last year while essential public health measures were in place, so it’s more important than ever to get your child vaccinated.

“I’d urge all parents and carers to take up the offer of getting the free flu vaccine for their child this year, to help keep them well and to help stop the spread of flu. The vaccine is safe and offers the best protection we have against flu.”

For more information you can visit, call 0800 030 8013, or speak to a health or immunisation team.