The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) say that cases of flu have climbed quickly, indicating that the season has begun earlier than normal, and that they are seeing hospitalisations and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admissions rising fastest in children aged under five years old.
Vaccinations to protect against flu are down on last season. Just 12.1 per cent of two-year olds and 12.8 per cent of three-year olds have been vaccinated against flu this time, compared to 17.4 percent in two-year olds and 18.6 per cent in three-year olds last year.
Dr Mary Ramsay, Director of Public Health Programmes at the UKHSA, said:
“Our latest data shows early signs of the anticipated threat we expected to face from flu this season.
“We’re urging parents in particular not to be caught out as rates of hospitalisations and ICU admissions are currently rising fastest in children under five.
“This will be a concern for many parents and carers of young children, and we urge them to take up the offer of vaccination for eligible children as soon as possible.”
Children can have the free flu vaccination at school or via their GP surgery.
You can read more about it by visiting the NHS flu vaccine for children webpage.