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Parents urged to get the flu vaccine for toddlers as hospital admissions rise

PUBLISHED: 10:00 19 January 2020

Young children can have their vaccine in a nasal spray. Picture: Rehan Jamil

Young children can have their vaccine in a nasal spray. Picture: Rehan Jamil

© Rehan Jamil

Doctors are urging people to get the flu vaccine for toddlers after intensive care admissions increased 20per cent overall in London last week.

Since the start of the season, 23 flu outbreaks have been reported in London, mostly affecting schools.

Public Health England (PHE) data shows only 19pc of two and three-year-olds in London have had the flu vaccine, compared to 25pc nationally.

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The uptake rate in Newham from September to November was 15.8pc for two-year-olds (900 out of 5,687) and 15.1pc for three-year-olds (840 out of 5,547).

PHE London regional director Professor Paul Plant said: "Flu can be serious and even deadly for very young children, so parents should make sure their toddlers are vaccinated.

"Current evidence suggests the vaccine is a good match for the main strain of flu that is circulating."

NHS London regional medical director Dr Vin Diwakar said: "A quick, painless nasal spray from a GP can help little ones fight off the flu and keep safe."

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