Baby injectionNHS London chiefs have called for all parents to ensure their children are protected against flu over winter as new figures reveal just 21% of three-year-olds have been vaccinated.

Children aged two and three are at a higher risk of catching flu as their immune systems are not fully developed and NHS London medical director Dr Andrew Mitchell has said he "urges all parents to talk to their local doctor about the vaccine to help the whole family have a healthy Christmas".

The national average for vaccinations among three-year-olds is 32.9% but some London boroughs, including Hammersmith and Fulham have below 15%.

By contrast, some boroughs are performing particularly well with Bromley and Ealing achieving rates of 34& and 28% respectively in the first year that the NHS has offered flu vaccinations for two and three-year-olds following the introduction of a nasal spray.

Alongside replacing the needle form of vaccine, the NHS is nationally encouraging all at-risk groups to get themselves vaccinated including carers, pregnant women and children with health problems.