Rates of toddler flu vaccination are down on last year’s, according to the Department of Health.
Just over quarter of a million infants aged two, three, and four years old have received the free vaccination this year, despite the fact that two million are eligible.
The Department of Health says that half of parents of children in this age group do not know that they can obtain the free nasal spray vaccine from their GP.
The Department of Health warns that the 15m people in England who suffer from at least one long-term health condition are 11 times more likely to die if they catch the virus.Their analysis shows that vaccinating half of all children aged between six months and four could prevent almost half a million cases of flu.
Chief medical officer Professor Dame Sally Davies said: ‘Flu can be really nasty for toddlers, leading to time off nursery which has a big impact on mums and dads and sometimes even a stay in hospital. They also spread the virus easily and often pass flu to grandparents and other relatives who can become very ill, fast.
‘Giving two, three and four year olds the free nasal spray really is in everyone’s interests if you want to help avoid a miserable winter for all the family.’