Influenza is caused by infection of the upper respiratory tract with influenza virus A, B or C. Anyone can be affected by influenza. However, it is especially elderly people over the age of 65 and other people with diseases that affect the immune system who have an increased risk of a serious course of influenza.
Free influenza vaccination is offered seasonally during the fall and winter to special groups at risk of developing serious and complicated influenza illness. The risk groups include for example elderly people aged 65 years and above, pregnant women and chronically ill people.
Vaccination reduces the risk of becoming infected with influenza. Vaccination also reduces the risk of hospitalization and death as a result of influenza, should one become infected with influenza despite vaccination.
Since 2021, children aged 2 to 6 has been offered a free flu vaccination.
Children get the flu more often and are more contagious than adults. Influenza vaccination will primarily protect the children and their families against infection, but also be instrumental in slowing the spread of influenza in the general population, thus also protecting vulnerable groups against the disease.
Children are offered a flu vaccine in the form of a nasal spray, where one dose is sprayed into each nostril. The vaccine is a live attenuated vaccine. If it is the first time the child is vaccinated against influenza, the child must be vaccinated twice at least four weeks apart.
The vaccine has been specially developed and approved for children, and is therefore safe to use. However, be aware that there are some children who may not be vaccinated with live attenuated vaccines, and therefore another flu vaccine must be offered. The vaccine that has been offered in Denmark the last two years, has been used for a number of years in e.g. England and Finland. For further information on influenza vaccination of children, children at risk and contraindications for Fluenz Tetra®, see the website of the Danish Pediatric Society.