FQ Expert

Helping Hands – Nursery and Flu Vacination

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

FQ’s guest expert on all matters relating to fatherhood is at hand to solve your problems and answer any burning questions you have.

Dr Miriam Stoppard

Dr Miriam Stoppard



Dr. Miriam Stoppard has been at the forefront of the revolution in health information since she began her writing and broadcasting career in the early 1970s.


Since that time she has become well-known to millions all over the world as a leading authority on parenting and child care. Miriam has published over 50 books and sold in excess of 20 million copies. She has a daily advice column in The Daily Mirror and regularly appears on TV. Miriam is a medical doctor and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.

We have a three-year-old boy who goes to nursery and after all the articles in the papers last winter I am worried about the possibility of him catching swine flu. Should we get him vaccinated?
Dean, Ipswich

I’m not surprised you feel you’re on the horns of a dilemma. Last year the government proposed that healthy children under five should receive the swine flu jab. This year however they’re not recommending the routine flu jab, which contains swine flu, for healthy children in your son’s age group. The Department of Health has said that they’re keeping the situation under review. Swine flu particularly affects young people and children. Furthermore of the people in intensive care, one in 10 is under 15 years old and one in 20 is under five. In the light of this I would want my grandchildren under five to be protected by the flu jab. I should say that a child would qualify for the flu jab if they have any form of chronic illness or any chest condition like asthma. I suggest that you go along and discuss your anxieties with your doctor. You may find that he or she will not vaccinate your healthy child on the NHS but you can of course, if you wish your child to have the flu jab, always purchase it from a pharmacy under £1.