With flu season approaching NHS Ayrshire & Arran is encouraging parents of primary school children to make sure they sign and return their child’s consent form for the seasonal flu vaccine as soon as possible.

Primary school children across Ayrshire have already started to receive a pack with information about the flu vaccine and a consent form for parents. All children in primary school will be offered the vaccine and will receive it at school.

Two to five years olds, who are not yet in school, will be offered the vaccine at their GP practice.

For most children the vaccine is now given by a quick and painless nasal spray, children will only feel a small tickle in their nose.

Dr Elvira Garcia, Consultant in Public Health Medicine – Board Immunisation Co-ordinator, commented: “It is really important that kids receive the flu vaccine to help keep them well over the winter.

“Even healthy children can become seriously ill from flu and can spread it to family, friends and others.

“We would encourage all parents to seriously consider vaccinating their children. It is also important that consent forms are signed and returned to the school, even if parents are declining the vaccine for their child.”

For more information on the childhood flu vaccination programme, visit www.readyforflu.scot or www.nhsinform.scot/childflu