MORE than 11,000 children have already received the new nasal flu vaccination across Cumbria – but health bosses are appealing for more parents to come forward.

All youngsters of primary school age in the county are being offered the nasal spray as part of a pilot scheme this winter. Children who are in a clinical risk group should also have been offered the vaccine by their own GP.

The nasal spray vaccination is available at most pharmacies and some GP surgeries across Cumbria.

Parents of eligible children were sent a letter informing them about the new programme and encouraging them to take up the offer. For more information call 01539 797887 or go to Jane Rossin, Centre Director for the Public Health England Cumbria & Lancashire Centre, said: ‘We are pleased so many parents have already taken the opportunity to get their children protected against flu.

‘Symptoms can be very unpleasant and last for several days – and flu can lead to more serious complications like pneumonia and bronchitis which need hospital treatment. ‘Early progress on vaccination has been encouraging and my message to parents who have yet to come forward is simple – it’s not too late to get your child protected.

‘The vaccine will not only protect healthy children from flu but also help to reduce the spread of the virus to others such as younger siblings, grandparents and those in the at risk groups.’ In addition to the pilot scheme, the annual seasonal flu programme is continuing as usual.