Flu: vaccine, causes, treatment, and more


BSL Support

In Newham last year, less than 36.3% of children aged 2 and 3 years old had their free flu vaccine. Without vaccination children are more likely to catch the flu and spread it to others who are at higher risk like babies and the elderly, even if they don’t have symptoms. The child flu vaccine also reduces your child’s chance of needing hospital care for flu by around two-thirds.

Dr Muhammad Naqvi, a local GP and Newham Primary Care Development Lead, said:

“It is vitally important that parents of young children get them vaccinated for flu. It can be a very unpleasant illness for children and it can also lead to serious problems.

Children spread it easily and vaccinating them also protects others who are vulnerable to flu.”


Getting your child the flu vaccine

Most eligible children will be offered the nasal spray flu vaccine. This type of vaccine is a spray that is squirted up each nostril. It is painless, quick and side effects are uncommon and generally mild. It also contains highly processed porcine gelatine to stabilise the vaccine virus.

Many faith groups accept the use of porcine gelatine in medical products. However, if you want your child to have the flu vaccine that does not contain porcine gelatine, you can ask for your child to be vaccinated with an injected vaccine instead.  The injection does not contain porcine.

Where to have the flu vaccine

Child’s age

Where to have the flu vaccine

From 6 months until 2 years
(with a long-term condition)

GP surgery

From 2 years until child starts primary school

GP surgery

All children in school years from Reception to Year 11


Children in eligible school groups (with a long-term health condition)

School or GP surgery

Children who are home-schooled or not in mainstream education (same ages as those offered in eligible groups at schools)

Community clinic

If your child is not registered with a GP, you can register them here. Everyone can register with a GP in Newham.

If your child is of school age, they will be vaccinated in schools or community clinics – make sure that you sign their consent form.

You can complete the form online here

It is safe for your child(ren) to have the flu vaccine, even if they have previously had flu or COVID-19, or have other medical conditions.

More information on Childhood Immunisations is available here.