The Department of Health in Britain has announced to provide free flu vaccinations to every child in the country in order to protect them from the infections in especially the extremely cold winter season. The program will start this year and will be expanded over a couple of years to ensure that every child gets the vaccination done.
The vaccination will be provided in the form a nasal spray by AstraZeneca and would require huge budgets to effectively carry out the program. Detailed planning and management of resources is also crucial for the success of the vaccination program as it would not be considered successful if even a single child is left from the dose. The program is supposed to provide the vaccination on a regular basis once it starts.
The medical experts are welcoming the program as it is being rolled out. "Not only would it protect children against flu but it would also reduce the circulation of flu in the population and ... protect those at high risk of severe disease," Peter Openshaw of the centre for respiratory infection at Imperial College London commented on the vaccination program as reported at Yahoo News.
AstraZeneca already produces the drug that is now being purchased for vaccination by the British health department. The vaccine is called Fluenz and is sold in other countries in Europe as well. The company also produces the drug for United States but with a different name i.e. FluMist. The British authorities are going to make big contracts for the supply of the drug in order to make sure their targets are achieved.
The medical experts are also debating on the effectiveness of the vaccine in children. Some feel that same vaccine might not be equally effective on healthy and high risk children. However the experts have not shown serious concerns over this issue and the drug is generally accepted. They are showing positive response for the program.
"Severe winter flu and its complications can make people really ill and can kill, particularly those who are weak and frail which is why we already offer vaccinations to the most at-risk groups. We accept the advice of our expert committee that rolling out a wider programme could further protect children. With even a modest take-up helping to protect our most vulnerable," Professor Dame Sally Davies who is the Chief Medical Officer said regarding the vaccination program as reported at Yahoo News.