2 December 2014

RCGP Statement on Flu Vaccinations

Dr George Kassianos, RCGP Immunisation Lead, said: “Flu can have potentially serious consequences and young children - particularly those under the age of five years - are one of the groups who are most at risk, so we are concerned that the uptake of the vaccine is lower than last year and that such a large number of parents are still unaware that it is now available in a nasal spray.

“Flu is a highly infectious disease and children spread it more easily as they tend to have more physical contact with others, both of their own age, friends, and older family members. They also spread the flu virus for longer.

“Most important is to stop flu infecting our very young children thus protect them from catching a nasty infectious disease as well as developing some serious complications. If we reduce the risk of young children catching the flu we will make it less likely that vulnerable adults, such as pregnant women and older people, will be affected and reduce their risk of developing complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia from the virus.

“This is a convenient, easy to give and extremely effective vaccine that is available free to children aged 2, 3, and 4 years as well as children age below 18 in any of the  to at-risk groups. It is essential that we increase public awareness so that we can better control the spread of the flu virus, save complications and admissions to hospitals and even save lives.”

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7581
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659


The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 50,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.