The flu vaccine for children is given as a single dose of nasal spray which is squirted up each nostril.  This method offers many benefits for children namely that its needle free and has fewer side effect than the traditional flu vaccine injection.

This quick and painless procedure is available for all children aged from 2 to 4, however over time this will be rolled out further and made available to children all the way up to 16 years old. For those in the “at risk” groups such as children with long term health conditions, the nasal spray maybe offered in a double dose.

In the UK, the vaccine used is Fluenz Tetra nasal spray suspension Influenza vaccine.

How the Flu Nasal Spray works

When a child is given the Fluenz Tetra nasal spray, their body’s immune system will produce its own protection against the flu virus. None of the ingredients contained in the vaccine spray can cause the flu.

The viruses within the Fluenz Tetra vaccine spray are grown in chicken eggs. The vaccine targets four strains of influenza as recommended by the World Health Organisation. These recommendations do change from year to year.

You will not be given the vaccine if you are allergic to eggs, egg proteins, gentamicin, or gelatin or any of the other ingredients of Fluenz Tetra. Please ensure you speak to your Doctor if you have any concerns.

Side Effects

All medicines can cause side effects, although please remember that not everybody gets them. Below is a list of side effects as issued by the manufacturer of the vaccine – MedImmune, UK Limited.

Very rare

(may affect up to 1 in 1,000,000 people):

  • severe allergic reaction: signs of a severe allergic reaction may include shortness of breath and swelling of the face or tongue.

In the rare event that you experience the above side effects then please seek immediate medial advice.

Other possible side effects of the Flu nasal spray

Very common

(The following side effects may affect more than 1 in 10 people):

  • runny or stuffy nose
  • reduced appetite
  • weakness
  • headache


(The following side effects may affect more than 1 in 10 people):

  • fever
  • muscle aches


(The following side effects may affect more than 1 in 10 people):

  • rash
  • nose bleed
  • allergic reactions

Further information, guidance and questions

If you have any further questions on the Flu Nasal Spray Fluenz Tetra or any concerns about the information provided above then please speak to your Doctor.