Public Health England is encouraging African & Caribbean parents to help protect their children from flu this winter, as the largest ever flu vaccination programme gets underway

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Blogger, vlogger and mum, Chanel Ambrose and Tinuke Bernard of lifestyle blog circusmums share their experiences of the flu vaccine and urge other parents to vaccinate their children. 

The flu vaccine is free for groups including children aged 2 and 3 (provided they were this age on 31 August 2019), all primary school children, pregnant women, people with long-term health conditions and those aged 65 and over.

London based blogger and vlogger Chanel Ambrose, who recently spoke with media medic Dr. Sara Kayat about the flu vaccine will make sure her two-year old son AJ gets the flu nasal spray vaccine this year. Her elder son Emmanuel who is 10, will be vaccinated at school this year. 

 “It’s really horrible when our little ones get sick and with flu, children can get fever, chills, aching muscles and headache. Like other parents, it’s important that I protect my children against illness when I can. Having the vaccine reduces the chances of getting flu which is why AJ will get the vaccine this year through our GP and it’s why Emmanuel will be vaccinated at school. It will also help prevent them sharing flu with us.

“I know that the flu nasal spray vaccine is really quick and easy, and a painless alternative to needles. The flu vaccine is the best protection we have against flu so I’d encourage all parents to get their children vaccinated.”

London based Tinuke Bernard’s two daughters, Rainbow, two and Princess, 11, have both been diagnosed with asthma, she knows that flu, on top of asthma, could increase their chances of serious health complications and even a hospital visit. This 

is why she has arranged for both of her daughters to be vaccinated against flu this year. 

Tinuke said “When my daughters are unwell, I find that their asthma worsens. Having the flu would further aggravate their condition so that’s why the flu vaccine is absolutely essential every winter in helping them both stay well especially through the winter months.

“I’d encourage all parents with little ones between the ages of 2-3* to make an appointment with their GP in order to get the vaccine or sign and return the consent form if they are at primary school.  Or if you have a child with a long-term health condition like asthma they should have the vaccine every year from the age of six months onwards. After all the vaccine is free because they need it.”

* (provided they were this age on the 31 August 2019).

In addition to children, pregnant women are also eligible for the free flu vaccine. Pregnancy naturally weakens the body’s immune system and as a result, flu can cause serious complications for women and their babies. 

If women have flu while they’re pregnant, it could mean their baby is born prematurely or has a low birthweight which could even lead to stillbirth or death. The flu jab is the best way to help protect pregnant women and their babies against flu, no matter how many months pregnant or how fit and healthy the woman may feel. 

Those who are eligible for a free flu vaccine should contact their GP, pharmacist or midwife to protect themselves and their families before the flu season takes hold. It is the single best way to protect against a potentially very serious illness.

Visit www.nhs.uk/fluvaccine for more information. 

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