Currently, only those at risk of complications from flu are offered the vaccine every year, such as the over-65s, pregnant women and people with medical conditions, including children.
But the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), a body of independent experts which advises the Government, has recommended the vaccination programme now be extended to all children aged between two and 17.
It's estimated that mass immunisation will lead to a 40 per cent fall in infections, 11,000 fewer hospitalisations and 2,000 fewer deaths each year.
The UK will become the first country to offer the flu vaccine to all children, free of charge, and will cost around £100 million a year.
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The programme will use a nasal spray vaccine, already in use in the US. Experts plan to vaccinate nine million children in a six to eight week period before the start of the flu season.
Although healthy children are amongst those who are least likely to develop complications from being infected by flu, their close contact with each other means they are more likely to transmit the virus to other more vulnerable groups – including infants and the elderly.
Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies said: "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.
"There are significant challenges to delivering a programme that requires up to nine million children to be vaccinated during a six week period and we will look at the recommendations in detail to decide how best to develop and deliver the programme."