Parents in Falkirk district have been urged to protect their children against flu this winter by ensuring that they are vaccinated.

The Scottish Government launched its annual national flu vaccination this week, with a focus on people with health conditions and children aged two to five.

Every year, thousands of children end up in hospital with flu – and even kids who are generally in good health can become seriously ill from it. Vaccinating children can also stop the virus from spreading to family members and friends.

Nasal vaccines, which are a spray rather than an injection, are given to children aged two to 11 as part of the Scottish childhood immunisation programme. But more parents and carers are being urged to take up the offer.

Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson said: “Getting your children vaccinated is free, only takes a few minutes and helps to protect them against the flu bug throughout the winter season.
“Unfortunately, there’s plenty of misinformation about vaccines online but it’s important that parents trust the facts.

“NHS Forth Valley’s staff do a tremendous job all year round but we know that winter can be a challenging time for the health service – and this is one way in which we can do our bit not to add unnecessary pressure on them.

“If your child is eligible for a flu vaccine, make getting it a priority and book an appointment with your GP practice as soon as possible.”

People aged 65 and over, pregnant women, those at risk of serious illness and unpaid carers are also offered the flu vaccination on the NHS.

Find out more about the vaccine at