HAMPSHIRE parents and carers are being urged to protect toddlers against the flu. 

The flu vaccination programme is well underway across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight with thousands of parents and carers having already arranged for their children to be vaccinated.

As a result of Covid-19 restrictions, influenza activity levels were extremely low globally last year. 

With social mixing and social contact returning towards pre-pandemic norms, it is expected that this will be the first winter that flu and Covid-19 will co-circulate. It is also anticipated that there may be a higher rate of flu infection. 

If you get flu and Covid-19 at the same time, research shows you're more likely to be seriously ill.

The NHS is urged anyone with a two or three-year-old to appointment with your GP practice for them to have their flu vaccine.  

Hampshire GP Dr Tim Cooper said: “I want to encourage you to get your children vaccinated because the flu is a very common childhood illness and can be really unpleasant for them.

“Children who are two or three or eligible four-year-olds will be able to have their vaccine done at their GP surgery, while school aged children will be offered theirs in school.

“The vaccine is a nasal spray – a single spray up each nostril – it’s quick, it’s painless and it’s really easy.

“People think ‘it’s just flu’ but unfortunately it can lead to complications and even hospitalisation which is why it’s important to have the vaccination.”