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14 November 2013
Flu is a highly contagious infection that anyone can catch, and it can be a really serious illness for some. Those at greater risk from flu include people aged 65 or over, pregnant women, and those with health conditions such as severe asthma, chest or heart complaints and diabetes.
People who are carers and frontline health and social care staff are also encouraged to get a free jab to protect themselves and those around them.
Dr Fran Ross, Urgent Care Lead, said: “Flu is not like a cold – it can be a really serious illness for some people and it doesn’t just affect older people. If you’re pregnant, have lowered immunity or a long term health condition such as severe asthma, a chest or heart complaint, or diabetes, then you should also get a free flu jab from your GP and get flu safe. The flu jab is completely safe, and it can’t give you flu.”
The flu vaccine changes every year to fight the latest strains of flu, so even if you had a jab last winter you need another one this year to stay flu safe. The jab doesn’t contain the ‘live’ virus so it cannot give you the flu.
This year a new nasal spray will be offered to all children aged two and three years as part of the NHS childhood vaccination programme. It will also be offered to children aged 2-18 with long-term health conditions like diabetes, heart disease and lung disease.
Dr Fran Ross added: “Flu can increase the risk of developing more serious illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and can make existing conditions much worse. Flu can knock you off your feet and make it hard to look after the kids or go to work. In the most serious cases, seasonal flu might land you in hospital - it can even be a killer.”
“If you’re in any of the ’at risk’ groups, the flu jab is completely free and is a safe way of protecting you and your family in a matter of minutes.”
Simply contact your GP to arrange a convenient appointment and get your jab. It’s quick, safe and free for those most at risk from the virus.