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Cornwall boy ends up in intensive care with flu

Cornwall boy ends up in intensive care with flu

Published by Emma Cartonat 7:03am 17th October 2019. (Updated at 9:39am 17th October 2019)

This is Henry Riley - the nine-year-old from Cornwall who ended up in intensive care with the flu.

The youngster came home from school with a tummy ache last winter.

The next day, the boy was rushed to hospital with a soaring temperature and struggling to breathe.

Now mum Janine is urging other parents to make sure their children get the free vaccine.

It comes as figures show just over a third of south-west primary pupils who could have had it, did not!

Henry's Story

Nine-year-old Henry Riley from Cornwall came home from school one day last winter with a tummy ache.

By the next day, the youngster's temperature was rocketing and he was struggling to breathe.

Mum Janine called an ambulance and her son was rushed to hospital.

He ended up in intensive care after being transferred to Bristol Children's Hospital.

Since then, Henry has had to have loads of physiotherapy, with his family describing what happened as scary.

You can watch his mum's plea here...

 

What do the figures show?

Last year, out of all the primary school children eligible to have the flu vaccine in the south-west, 62.2% had it.

That figure is slightly higher than the national average, of 60.8%.

However, it still means that more than a third of pupils who could have had the vaccine, did not get it.

In Cornwall, the uptake for youngsters in the early years of primary school was around 57%

However, that figure was only 47.6% - or less than half - in the Year 6.

Public Health England is reminding parents that all Year 6 pupils are now eligible for the free vaccine, that is a simple nasal spray.

What is the message from Public Health England?

"We are so pleased that Year 6 children are now eligible for the flu vaccine which means that all children in primary school can now have this vaccination at school.

"Flu is a really nasty bug and it is not like having a cold. It can have serious complications and can be life threatening. At the very least it can knock you off your feet for days.

"This means absence from school for children and time off work for parents, not to mention the possibility of spreading the bug in families espescially in the older more vulnerable community.

"We know that most parents are great at taking up the offer of a flu vaccine for their children. 

"Last year, 62 percent of school aged children had the vaccine in the South West and the region vaccinated 233,309 children, but we want to do better.

"If all eligible children are vaccinated this will help us all and could significantly reduce the number of people getting flu in the wider community."

"If your child is in primary school (Reception - Year 6) they will be offered a free flu vaccination at the school.

"The vaccine for children is no longer an injection; it is a simple nasal spray that takes just a few seconds to administer.

"However to be vaccinated, the flu vaccination school health team have to you're your consent to give the vaccine and if this hasn't been receieved your child may miss out".

Dr Julie Yates, PHE South West

How can I get my children vaccinated?

Some schools in the south-west are trialling electonic consent, where parents will be sent a link to complete an online form.

In other areas, letters are being sent out and mums and dads are being urged to check their kids' book bags and rucksacks.

For more information about the vaccine, visit the flu pages on the NHS choices website.

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