All children aged 2–5 years and not yet in school (children must be aged 2 years or above on 1st September 2021) will be offered the nasal (nose) spray vaccine from September onwards.
The flu vaccine should start to protect most children about 10-14 days after they get their vaccination, so the earlier your child can get the vaccine, the better.
You'll be sent a leaflet and letter about how to arrange your child's vaccination appointment.
What if my child's ill on the day?
Your child should not have the vaccine if they are very unwell (for example with a fever, diarrhoea or vomiting). If this happens, phone the number on your invitation letter to rearrange your child's appointment.
If your child’s asthma is worse than usual in the 3 days before their vaccination, meaning they are wheezing more or have had to use their inhaler more than they normally do, tell the healthcare worker at their appointment.
There is no need to delay their vaccination, and they should be offered an alternative injectable form of the vaccine.
What if my child misses their vaccination?
If your child misses their appointment, contact your local NHS Board on the phone number on your invitation letter to reschedule your child's appointment.
Does my child need a second dose?
Almost all children will only need one dose of the vaccine.
However, if your child is under 9 years old they'll need a second dose (4 weeks after the first) if they:
- have a health condition and this was their first time getting the flu vaccine - this will make sure their immunity has fully built up
- were given the injectable vaccine and this was their first time getting the flu vaccine - even if they don't have a health condition
Your health professional will advise you if your child needs a second dose.
Will my child be protected for life when they've had the flu vaccine?
No. Flu viruses are constantly changing and a different vaccine has to be made every year to ensure the best protection against flu. This is why the flu vaccine is offered every year during autumn and winter.