Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board encourages parents to vaccinate young children against flu, ahead of winter

Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board encourages parents to vaccinate young children against flu, ahead of winter

Public health experts in Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB is encouraging parents to vaccinate young children against the flu virus this autumn, to protect them from getting secondary infections. Last year, flu was the primary reason why nearly 800 children in Wales aged 2-16 years old were admitted to hospital.

There is still a concern that children who didn’t encounter the flu virus between 2020-2022, when there wasn’t a lot of social mixing, could be particularly vulnerable. Young children can catch and spread flu easily and can suffer unpleasant symptoms. Getting the flu can also lead to secondary infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. That’s why it is important that parents of two and three year olds take up the offer of a flu vaccination for their children this autumn. Vaccinating children not only protects them, but also older relatives, the wider community and the NHS. All school aged children will also be offered the flu vaccine. Flu viruses change quickly, so every year an updated vaccine is needed to offer protection.

Flu and Covid-19 are both respiratory illnesses that thrive in winter. Getting vaccinated remains our best line of defence against serious disease. “The Covid -19 autumn booster programme will also soon be live. Everyone over 65 years old are among those being offered a Covid-19 booster to reduce their chances of getting seriously ill with Covid-19.

To promote these vaccinations, Public Health Wales has launched a campaign to encourage people to protect themselves this winter. Focusing on the theme “putting on your winter coat”, it encourages people to get their vaccines to add an extra layer of protection in the cold months ahead.

GPs and Health Boards will contact those who are eligible with details of when and where they can be vaccinated. People are advised to come forward as soon as possible once they have been contacted to receive their vaccination.

With winter pressures anticipated for the NHS, it is more important than ever that those who are eligible for a free flu or Covid-19 vaccine get vaccinated to help prevent them becoming seriously unwell and protect the NHS this winter.

Philip Daniels, Director of Public Health at CTM UHB said: “COVID and flu are serious illnesses, which can be deadly; vaccination is both safe and effective. Getting vaccinated doesn’t only protect us as individuals, it also prevents us passing on infections to vulnerable friends, relatives and contacts.”

Minister for Health and Social Services Eluned Morgan said:

“Vaccination is one of the most important actions we can take for our own health, and it’s the most important preventative action NHS Wales can offer to people in Wales. The very young and old are particularly at risk of respiratory illness, and our approach for the winter respiratory vaccination programme will ensure that those who are eligible are protected from COVID-19 and seasonal flu. I urge people to come forward for both these vaccines when offered, particularly in the light of the new variant of Omicron (BA.2.86), so we can continue protecting our loved ones and keep Wales safe this winter.”

For the latest information, including who is eligible for the free flu and Covid-19 vaccines, visit phw.nhs.wales/vaccines https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/immunisation-and-vaccines/flu-vaccine-and-covid-19-autumn-booster/

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Team @ AberdareOnline

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