Find out why flu jab is vital

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People in Northamptonshire who still have doubts can find out exactly why it is so important to be vaccinated against flu in the next few weeks.

A series of Flu Safe roadshows are being held across the county in the run-up to the Christmas holidays and the height of winter.

Shoppers will be able to find out the facts about flu, if they are in one of the Department of Health’s priority groups to get the jab, and ask any questions they may have.

The roadshows are being backed by the county’s clinical commissioning croups, NHS Corby CCG and NHS Nene CCG,the new NHS health organisations led by GPs who will be responsible for commissioning healthcare for patients from April 2013.

Dr Funke Adedeji, public health consultant at NHS Northamptonshire, said: “Flu isn’t just a bad cold, it can be much more serious. In the groups most at risk it can lead to very serious and life-threatening complications and could make any existing conditions worse.

“We are running these roadshows to get the message of prevention through vaccination across to as many people as possible, and give them the opportunity to ask any burning questions they might have and find out the facts.”

The Flu Safe roadshows will be held between 10am and 3pm and will be at the Boots store in Corby and Kettering on Monday (December 3) and at the Asda store in Rushden and Boots in the Swansgate Centre, Wellingborough, on Tuesday.

Dr Adedeji said: “Flu is a highly contagious illness caused by a virus infection. The types of virus in circulation change every year as does the vaccine which needs to keep in step, so it is important that you have the jab this winter, even if you had it last year.

“To help protect yourself and those around you, please make sure you ask for and have a flu jab at your local GP surgery. And remember, the flu jab does not contain live viruses, so it cannot give you the flu.”

Priority groups include those aged over 65, pregnant women, who not only benefit through protection of themselves, but also share the protection with their unborn child, people with an existing serious medical condition, those living in a residential or nursing home, and people who are the main carers for an elderly or disabled person who may be at risk if they themselves fall ill.

For more information go to www.northamptonshire.nhs.uk/flu.