The Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council has urged parents to weigh up the risk of the flu virus when considering whether to vaccinate themselves and their children.
Councillor Mohammed Khan was speaking out as he received his annual flu vaccination at his surgery in Lime Street, Blackburn.
Cllr Khan said: “Parents need to consider the risk. It is their personal choice whether to have themselves and their children vaccinated, but if they are eligible, the vaccine can save lives.
“When people understand that there is a serious risk of their child or a member of their family being hospitalised by flu, and if they think their family is at risk, then they should have the vaccination.”
NHS Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has launched a major drive aimed at protecting families against flu.
The campaign, running across the borough, is urging parents/guardians/carers to vaccinate their children against flu. The vaccination not only protects the child, more importantly it helps stop the spread of the illness especially to those older members of the family such as grandparents. It can cause severe illness and even death among vulnerable groups including older people, pregnant women and people with an underlying health condition.
Flu is a very common infection in babies and children and it can be very unpleasant for them. Symptoms are the same as adults, including fever, chills, aching muscles, headache, stuffy nose, dry cough and a sore throat lasting up to a week. Some children can develop a very high fever or complications of flu, such as bronchitis, pneumonia and a painful middle ear infection. They may need hospital treatment, and very occasionally a child may die from flu. In fact, healthy children under the age of five are more likely to have to be admitted to hospital with flu than any other age group.
For further information about flu, please log onto www.blackburnwithdarwenccg.nhs.uk