As we’re coming into flu season the NHS are making damn sure that everyone who is entitled to a flu jab knows about it. In fact, it’s pretty hard to walk down the street at the moment without seeing something about flu jabs rammed in your face. But despite a solid marketing campaign from the NHS (give that marketing manager a bonus!), there are still loads of things that the average parent may not know.
Not to worry, we’re filling in the gaps.
For a start, it’s a not a jab
It’s a nasal spray, so no needles (only for the kiddies, if Mum and Dad are getting one too I’m afraid it’s the good old-fashioned hypodermic for you). It’s being billed as quick, easy and pain-free. Don’t worry about sneezing and runny noses, as it is absorbed very quickly, which apparently means it’s also more effective than an injection. The downside is it goes in both nostrils, so I’m not sure how ‘quick’ that the second nostril is going to be.
It might not be a one-day ordeal
According to the NHS patient information leaflet on The Fluenz Tetra vaccine, if your child has not previously had an influenza vaccine then there will need to be a second follow-up dose at least four weeks later. So make sure you check with your doctor about when you need to go back.
It’s very rare, but the same NHS leaflet as above, states you shouldn’t give acetylsalicylic acid for four weeks after vaccination. If you’re wondering, that’s aspirin. In any case GOSH state that aspirin should not be given to children under 16, so this isn’t something specific to the flu vaccine.
There’s an age bracket
The NHS website states the nasal spray vaccine is for:
Children aged two, three and four on August 31, 2016 – that is, children born between September 1, 2011 and August 31 2014
This is because this vaccine is not suitable for children under 24 months, so it depends on when your child turned two as to if they are eligible.
Yup if your little one is allergic to eggs (or egg proteins) then this vaccine is not for them. In fact, there’re a couple of allergies to keep an eye out for:
Yyou are allergic to eggs, egg proteins, gentamicin, or gelatin or any of the other ingredients of this vaccine (listed in section 6 “Contents of the pack and other information”). For signs of allergic reactions, see section 4 “Possible side effects”.
So there you go. Who knew? If you’re wondering about whether or not you want your child to have the flu vaccination, it’s best to talk it through with your GP.