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Plea to vaccinate children against flu as hospitalisations rise in England

Parents are being urged to get their young children vaccinated against flu as data suggests hospitalisation rates among under-fives have almost doubled in England in the space of two weeks.

Data suggests the UK could face a triple whammy of respiratory illness this winter. While experts are concerned there could be another Covid wave, levels of both flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are increasing. The latter is a common winter virus that typically affects young children and can cause bronchiolitis.

Dr Conall Watson, consultant epidemiologist for the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said hospital admission rates for flu had risen in recent weeks and were highest in children under five.

“Already this year a small number of young children have needed intensive care. Please book your preschooler in for flu vaccine at your GP surgery as soon as you can,” he said. “Flu nasal spray vaccine is also currently being offered to all primary school children and will be available for some secondary school years later this season.”

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Source: The Guardian, 28 October 2022


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