Children aged 6 months to under 9 years who have never received a flu vaccine before should receive two doses 4 weeks apart, to help improve their immune response. If they have already had a flu vaccine in the past they will need one flu vaccine each year. 

Flu immunisation may be FREE for some children aged from 6 months of age with an ongoing medical condition:

  • children aged 6–59 months (under 5 years) who have had a stay in hospital for measles, asthma or other breathing problems or have a history of these conditions
  • chronic heart problems, excluding high cholesterol or high blood pressure, if they have not caused problems with other organs
  • cerebrovascular disease
  • chronic breathing or lung problems, including asthma where regular preventative medicine has been prescribed
  • diabetes
  • chronic kidney disease
  • cancer that is not in remission, excluding skin cancers if not invasive
  • other conditions (such as  autoimmune disease, immune suppression, immune deficiency, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), transplant recipients, neuromuscular and central nervous system diseases, cochlear implant, error of metabolism at risk of major metabolic decompensation, pre- or post-splenectomy, Down syndrome, haemoglobinopathies and children on long term aspirin).

Use of paracetamol following immunisation

Paracetamol is not routinely recommended to be used to control fever either before or after the flu vaccine is given. There is some laboratory evidence that the immune response can be affected by paracetamol, but there is no evidence that this causes people to be less well protected from disease. Paracetamol can be used for children who are still uncomfortable with a fever after appropriate removal of clothing and cool drinks have been provided or who have pain or significant discomfort after immunisation. It is important to follow the paracetamol dose instructions on the bottle.