Plea to Sunderland families over toddler flu jabs

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FAMILIES of toddlers are among those who have been urged to protect themselves against flu with the offer of a jab.

Public Health England, the Chief Medical Officer and NHS England are appealing to all vulnerable groups to protect themselves this winter by getting vaccinated.

For the first time, a nasal spray vaccine will be offered to healthy two and three-year-olds in a bid to slow down the spread of the virus.

It marks the first step in an extension to the national flu vaccination programme, which will eventually include yearly vaccination of all two to 16-year-olds.

Dr Roberta Marshall, director of the North East Public Health England Centre, said: “For the majority of people, flu is an unpleasant, but not life-threatening illness. However, it can be very serious for older people and those groups at risk of developing complications.

“They include those with weakened immune systems as well as underlying conditions such as neurological disorders, liver, lung or renal disease, heart problems or diabetes and pregnant women.

“Vaccination remains the best way to protect against the potential serious harm from flu this winter. I urge everyone entitled to a free jab, to take up the offer – especially the parents of young children who qualify.”