22 November 2019
Residents at risk of the flu are being urged to protect themselves this winter by taking up a free vaccination from their GP or pharmacist.
In addition to older adults, the vaccination is available at no cost to group including those with underlying health conditions, young children and pregnant women.
Flu can be serious and even deadly, and the vaccine is the best way for these groups to guard against the highly-infectious virus.
Professor Jonathan Van Tam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, explained that flu can lead to serious complications particularly for people with underlying health conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), bronchitis, emphysema, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease or a chronic neurological disease like multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and some learning disabilities.
“Catching flu on top of these health conditions increases the chance of serious health complications resulting in a hospital visit.
“Equally, older adults are more vulnerable and may suffer more than younger adults if they catch flu. Protecting children is also crucial for protecting both them and the rest of the population as they tend to be ‘super spreaders’ of flu due to poorer hand hygiene.”
Residents eligible for a free vaccination include:
- Anyone with a serious long-term health condition such as bronchitis and chronic heart disease
- Those aged 65 years and over
- Those aged six months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups
- Pregnant women
- Those living in a residential or nursing home
- The main carer of an older or disabled person
- Children aged two to three (on 31 August 2019) and all primary school-aged children
If you or your child are in an eligible group, your GP or pharmacist will offer you one of these vaccines based on the recommendations for your age.