Concerns at low uptake in flu vaccine for pre-schoolers in Northern Ireland
Fewer than half of pre-schoolers in Northern Ireland have received this year's flu vaccine, the Public Health Agency (PHA) has revealed.
The agency is urging parents to get young children vaccinated with the nasal spray ahead of Christmas to help protect not only them, but also family members.
PHA consultant in health protection Dr Lucy Jessop said: "Young children don't always cover their noses or mouths when coughing or sneezing, so the flu virus can spread very quickly among them, putting grandparents and younger brothers and sisters at risk of getting ill over the festive season.
"The eldest and youngest members of the family, those with heart or lung conditions, and pregnant family members can be especially vulnerable."
"Currently only 43% of two to four-year-olds have received the free vaccine, so there are still a lot of young children out there who are at a higher risk of getting flu themselves and of spreading the virus to vulnerable family members."