Flu vaccinations for 2-3 year olds up 25% on last year

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As we say goodbye to winter, Torbay Council’s Public Health Team wishes to share a good news story from the 2018/19 flu season.

GP practices across Torbay and South Devon have improved their flu vaccination uptake in 2-3 year olds by almost 25% compared to last year’s flu season. Known as ‘super spreaders’, 58% of 2-3 year olds were vaccinated against flu – this is the third highest uptake in the South West region.

Torbay Council’s Director of Public Health, Caroline Dimond, said: “This is fantastic news as getting a flu vaccination is by far the best way to protect our little ones against the virus.”

“We know that hand hygiene isn’t always the strength of 2-3 year olds, so a vaccine helps prevent them getting the flu and also helps prevent it spreading to our more vulnerable groups. These vulnerable groups include older people, people who are immunocompromised and those with certain long term conditions e.g. diabetes and chronic kidney disease.”

“Flu vaccination is our best protection against a virus which can be life threatening to both adults and children. Sadly in 2018, Coby a nine year old from Devon died after contracting the virus. Here Cody’s parents stress the importance of having the vaccination,

“Coby was a healthy nine year old before contracting the virus and his death is why it so important that we continue to get our nearest and dearest vaccinated. Next winter, let’s do our best to continue to increase the uptake of the flu vaccination across Torbay and South Devon.”

So what have we done locally to improve uptake this year?

-Local GP practices have run specific weekend clinics to help parents get their children vaccinated;

-One local GP practice ran a competition to improve uptake;

-Child minders and attendees of the Early Years Forum were asked to share the importance of getting two to three year olds vaccinated with parents.

Flu vaccination is available every year on the NHS to help protect adults and children at risk of flu and its complications. To find out more visit

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/

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Team account for We Are South Devon.