Nottingham and Nottinghamshire CCG
Flu and young children
The children’s flu vaccine is offered as a yearly nasal spray to young children to help protect them against flu. Flu can be a very unpleasant illness for children, with potentially serious complications, including bronchitis and pneumonia.
At what age should children have the nasal spray flu vaccine?
The vaccine is available free on the NHS for eligible children, including:
- Over the age of 6 months with a long-term health condition; Aged 2 and 3 years on 31 August 2020 (i.e. born between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2018);
- In primary school;
- In year 7 (secondary school)
Who will give the children’s flu vaccination?
Children aged 2 and 3 will be given the vaccination at their general practice, usually by the practice nurse. Primary school children will be offered their vaccination in school. Home-schooled children should be invited for vaccination by the local healthcare team. If you do not hear from them, ask your child’s GP where they should go for vaccination.
For information relating to school age children in Nottingham city, please visit: https://www.asklion.co.uk/kb5/nottingham/directory/service.page?id=uW9OfG_-LE8
For information relating to school-age children in Nottinghamshire, please visit: https://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/schoolsportal/services/health/school-aged-immunisation-service
The nasal spray vaccine contains gelatine which is made from pork. The gelatine used is a highly purified product and is essential for stabilising the vaccine.
We understand that some parents may have religious or ethical objections to the pork gelatine content of the nasal spray. We hope that the information we are providing here will help you make an informed decision.
The nasal spray protects your child more effectively. Compared to the injectable alternative, the nasal spray has been shown to:
- Reduce the risk of life threatening complications
- Offer longer lasting protection
- Be effective against more strains of the virus.
Leaders of major faiths have expressed the following views about the vaccine:
- The British Fatwa Council has issued a fatwa which concluded that the nasal flu vaccine containing porcine gelatine is permissible for use. This can be accessed online in English and Urdu here.
- Rabbi Abraham Adler, from the Kashrus and Medicines Information Service, said: “It should be noted that according to Jewish laws, there is no problem with porcine or other animal derived ingredients in non-oral products. This includes vaccines, including those administered via the nose, injections, suppositories, creams and ointments.”
If you have previously declined consent for your child to have the nasal spray but have since changed your mind, you can complete an online consent form here.
On 18 November, HM Government released new guidance stating that, “arrangements should be made to ensure that children who previously declined vaccination due to the porcine gelatine content, are recalled and offered the alternative vaccine”.
Parents in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire who have declined the vaccination due to porcine reasons will be offered the injectable alternative by the local School Aged Immunisation Service. Clinic sessions will be available for those who accept this offer.