Flu jabs for all under 5s gives could “save thousands”

All children under 5 should be given flu jabs to prevent the illness spreading to other vulnerable people, say Oxford academics

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All children under 5 should be vaccinated against flu, according to public health experts from Oxford University. They claim that a universal system of jabs for all young children would save the lives of other groups who are prone to catching the virus.

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Current policy in the UK is to limit seasonal flu jabs to people considered “at risk”. These include some under 5s who also have asthma or other medical conditions.

The experts, Professor David Mant and Dr Richard Mayon-White, recommend a universal vaccination program in an article published in the British Journal of General Practice.

“Universal influenza vaccination for children aged over six months is now recommended in the US,” they wrote. “As the selective vaccination policy currently recommended in the UK has not been successfully implemented – certainly in comparison with the success of universal vaccination in older people – we should also give serious consideration to vaccinating all children.”

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