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Parents encouraged to vaccinate children

Parents need to be encouraged to vaccinate their children against the flu, particularly in London, claims Public Health England (PHE).

Despite all two to four year olds being eligible for free vaccination, only 30% of Londoners in this age bracket have been vaccinated.

London flu rates are increasing and are higher than across the UK. The national average flu rate is 21.3 per 100,000 in comparison to the 23.2 per 100,000 reported in the capital.

Dr Yvonne Doyle, regional director of PHE London, said: “Children are known to be super-spreaders of flu because they mix very closely with each other. If we stop outbreaks of flu amongst children we can protect the wider community including older people, pregnant women, and those with long term health conditions who may be harder hit by the effects of flu.”

All other 'at risk' groups who are eligible for a free flu vaccine, including people aged 65 and over, adults and children with long term health conditions, and pregnant women and carers, can obtain it from their local pharmacy in London or from their GP.