First News - - Science News -

THE Na­tional Health Ser­vice (NHS) has called on par­ents to get the flu vac­cine for their kids be­fore Christ­mas.

The idea is to pre­vent kids spread­ing the virus to el­derly rel­a­tives over the hol­i­day pe­riod. Flu can be a se­ri­ous ill­ness for the very young, the very old, and peo­ple with se­ri­ous health prob­lems, such as can­cer or heart con­di­tions.

Chil­dren can pick up the flu virus at schools and nurs­eries, where germs spread very eas­ily.

Kids aged 2-3 can get the vac­cine free on the NHS through their lo­cal doc­tor. Chil­dren in re­cep­tion class and pri­mary school years 1-4 can also get the vac­cine, which is sprayed up the nose and is de­scribed by the NHS as “quick, easy and pain­less”.

Pro­fes­sor Keith Wil­lett of NHS Eng­land said: “Last year, mil­lions of peo­ple missed out on their free vac­ci­na­tion and yet it’s one sim­ple, com­mon-sense step to help us all stay healthy this win­ter.”

There’s less than a month to go un­til Christ­mas, yet only 18% of school-age kids have had the vac­cine so far. To find out more, your par­ents can speak to your doc­tor or school nurse.

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