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FLU Nasal Spray vaccination

Three children hugging each other

Why have the nasal spray flu vaccine?

  • Young children can catch and spread flu easily. Getting the flu virus can be serious for children and young people. It can lead to secondary infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Last winter more than 600 children aged 2-16 years old were hospitalised with flu in Wales.
  • Flu is caused by a virus that can spread easily to other people. Anyone can get flu but children have the highest rate of infection
  • Vaccination remains our best line of defence against serious disease.
  • Influenza viruses change quickly, so every year you need an updated vaccine to offer you protection.
  • Getting the flu vaccine can protect children as it can reduce the chances of complications from secondary diseases.

What children are eligible for a flu nasal spray vaccine?

  • All children aged two and three years old (aged on 31 August 2023), and school children from reception class up to and including school year 11, will be offered a nasal spray flu vaccine this autumn/winter to help protect them from flu.
  • Additionally, children and young people aged between six months and two years who have a long-term health condition are also eligible. It is especially important they get vaccinated as they are at a greater risk of complications than other children if they catch flu.

How is the flu nasal spray vaccine given?

  • The flu vaccine given to children in school is the nasal spray vaccine. The nasal spray vaccine is a fine mist that is sprayed up the nose from the tip of each nostril.
  • The nasal spray flu vaccine is quick and painless. Most children aren’t upset afterwards.

Where and when will my child have their flu nasal spray vaccination?

  • Children who are aged two or three are usually invited to have their flu vaccine at their GP surgery.
  • If your child is in this age group and hasn’t received an invitation for their flu vaccine by mid-November, contact their GP surgery.
  • Children in school (reception class to school year 11) are sent information and a consent form by the school and will usually have their flu vaccine in school.
  • Please read the information and return the form as soon as possible. If your child is aged four or older, and not in school, contact their GP surgery so they can get their flu vaccine.
  • If your child is aged under two, or aged 16 or 17 years of age, and is at greater risk of complications from flu due to a health condition, their GP surgery should invite them to have their vaccine. Ideally, the flu vaccine should be given before flu starts to circulate in the community. However, it can still be given at a later date
  • The COVID-19 vaccination is not offered at school and is not part of the school immunisation programme or the flu nasal spray vaccination. Children with a health condition that puts them at greater risk from COVID-19 are eligible for a COVID-19 booster vaccine this autumn. 

How does a flu vaccine help?

  • Having a flu vaccine will help protect your child from flu. Most children and young people have their vaccine as a quick and painless nasal spray. Protection starts around two weeks after having the vaccine.

  • The vaccine usually offers children good protection against flu.
  • It also helps reduce the chance of children and young people spreading flu to others who are at greater risk from flu, such as young babies, grandparents, and those with long-term health conditions.
  • Some people still get flu even after having a flu vaccine, but often with milder symptoms. Flu vaccines do not protect against colds, other respiratory viruses, or other winter illnesses.

How safe is the flu nasal spray vaccine?

  • The flu nasal spray vaccine is safe and have been given to millions of children worldwide.
  • The nasal flu spray contains four strains of the flu virus – it does not contain any other viruses. The nasal spray cannot cause flu or any secondary diseases.

Further information

Children and young people’s flu vaccination leaflet:

Flu - Protect children and young people with a simple nasal spray 2023/24 - Public Health Wales (

PHW Public information page – flu vaccination:

PHW Public information page – immunisation in schools

Immunisation in Schools - Public Health Wales (

Flu immunisation programme – Briefing document for headteachers and school staff 2023/24



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