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Urgent vaccine call issued to Solihull parents this flu season

Parents have been urged to make sure “superspreader” children receive their flu jabs to protect vulnerable people around them.

Solihull Council made the call as it encouraged people to get the vaccine.

It comes after growing numbers of people in the Midlands complained of an illness they couldn’t shake.

Read more: NHS on when to seek help as ‘worst flu ever’ spreads across Birmingham and the Black Country

A free NHS flu vaccine is available every year to eligible people to help protect them from the risk of flu and its complications.

According to the council, flu is very different to the common cold and can even be life-threatening for people who are in an at-risk group.

And the local authority also said “superspreader” children should have the vaccination to protect vulnerable members of the community.

For Solihull children aged two and three the flu vaccine is just a quick nasal spray, which can be given at their GP practice.

All children in reception class and school years one to 11 will be offered the flu nasal spray whilst they’re at school.

Councillor Tony Dicicco, cabinet member for adult social care and health, said locals might not have built up natural immunity during the pandemic.

Cllr Dicicco said: “The reason we talk so much about getting a flu vaccination if you are in one of the at-risk groups is that we don’t want to see anyone become seriously ill, especially when it is avoidable.

“More people are likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the Covid-19 pandemic so please get your free flu jab if you are eligible.

“All necessary measures will be taken to make sure the flu vaccine is given in a safe environment and the process will be quick and easy.”

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Dr Will Taylor, clinical chair of NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group and a local GP, added: “It’s more important than ever that those who are eligible get their flu vaccination when invited.

“The vaccine has a long history of being very effective against preventing the transmission of flu, and in a world where Covid-19 is still circulating, the more protection we have against illnesses, the better.

“Flu can be a very serious virus which can lead to hospitalisation or in the most severe cases, death. Please ensure you get your vaccination to help protect yourself and those around you.”

People entitled to a free NHS flu vaccine include those who are aged 50 years or over, have long-term health conditions and are pregnant.

Find more information about the flu vaccine here.

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