Parents and carers in Ayrshire are being urged to ensure their child gets their flu vaccine this year.

NHS Ayrshire and Arran has expanded the flu programme, with all school age pupils, children aged two to five, and children aged six months to two years with a condition that puts them at increased risk eligible for a free flu vaccination.

The flu vaccine is usually given as a painless nasal spray and is a safe way to help protect your child against flu.

It should start to protect most children against flu about 10 to 14 days after they are vaccinated.

The vaccine will reduce the risk of your child getting flu or spreading it to family and friends who are at greater risk from flu.

Appointment letters for children 6 months to 2 years at risk, and those aged 2 to 5 who are not in school, started arriving at homes earlier this month, with details of where and when the vaccine will be given.

Parents and carers should call the number on their child’s letter if their child has missed their appointment or needs to reschedule. 

For school children, consent forms and information about this year’s flu vaccine have been sent home to parents and carers.

Secondary pupils can self-consent but are encouraged to speak to a parent or carer first. All primary and secondary school pupils with consent will receive this at school this autumn.

Vaccination teams will visit all Ayrshire schools by December 15.