The current Stay Well This Winter (SWTW) campaign encourages vulnerable people including people with long-term health conditions and anyone aged over 65 to get the free flu jab.
Flu is a highly infectious disease and can lead to serious complications if you have a long-term health condition, for example: chronic respiratory disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,bronchitis, or emphysema; diabetes; heart, kidney or liver disease; chronic neurological diseases, like multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy; or have suffered a stroke. Flu on top of health conditions like these can easily develop into something very serious and you could end up in hospital. People with these and other long-term health conditions are eligible for a free flu jab through their GP or pharmacist.
The free vaccine is also offered to other groups at particular risk of infection and complications,anyone aged 65 and over; residents of long-stay care homes; carersand pregnantwomen. Children aged 2, 3 and 4 and in school years 1, 2 and 3 are also being offered a free flu vaccination.
Those eligible should contact their GP or pharmacist as appropriate, to arrange vaccination.
And if you are the main carer of an older or disabled person you may be eligible for the free flu vaccine, speak to your GP.
Last year 12.4 million people were vaccinated overall in England and It is estimated that several million people get flu each winter, leading to more than 2,000 NHS intensive care admissions across the UK last year.
The NHS and social care workforce is also being targeted to help protect them, and reduce the risk of frontline workers spreading infection to patients, particularly those in vulnerable groups.
If you are eligible for the flu vaccine get it now – it’s free because you need it. Contact your GP or pharmacist to the get the flu jab.
Dr Mathi Woodhouse, GP at Pinn Medical Centre, said:
“Vaccination is the best protection we have against flu, which can cause severe illness and even death among those most at-risk. This group includes people with a long-term health condition, older people and pregnant women.
“I would encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated to help protect themselves and those around them. It is important to get vaccinated every year. Flu is unpredictable and previous years’ vaccinations may not protect you against the types of flu virus circulating this year.”
Mr JegaJegathees, has the flu vaccination every year, said:
“I’ve had asthma since I was a child and I’m aware that with my condition, getting the flu could have serious consequences for me. My GP advised that I should have the flu vaccination.”
“This will be the fourth year in a row that I’ll be taking up the free vaccine. It’s a quick trip to the GP surgery which means that I’m vaccinated and can avoid getting the flu and taking time out of my busy schedule to recover. I’d advise everybody who’s eligible for it to get it.”