A COMMUNICATION mix-up meant parents were ringing up GP surgeries to get free flu jabs for their children, but GPs were unaware they were entitled to the vaccine.

An NHS England initiative to prevent the spread of flu to “at risk” children, meant all pupils at a special school in Witney were being offered the jab.

Anyone who is in a risk group, such as children with cerebal palsy, is entitled to the vaccine for free, but this year NHS Thames Valley extended it to any child who attends a special school. In Witney, it was again extended to include pupils at Madley Brook Primary School, which shares its site with Springfield Special School.

But, the Oxford Mail understands, GP practices in the area were initially unaware that children from Madley Brook were entitled to the vaccine.

Richard Tilley, whose four-year-old son Matthew is a pupil at Madley Brook, said: “It has led to a bit of confusion among parents, but I am pleased we should be able to access it.”

Screening and Immunisation head for NHS Thames Valley Dr Nisha Jayatilleke said: “To provide protection to those we know are particularly vulnerable ... in Oxfordshire we decided that vaccination should be offered to all children in special schools to protect individual children and reduce the risk of flu outbreaks.”