Elderly and others at risk advised to get free flu jab

Dr Peter Wilczynski advises the elderly and those at risk to get a free flu jab
Dr Peter Wilczynski advises the elderly and those at risk to get a free flu jab

The elderly, pregnant women and people with health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes or a heart condition, are advised to get a free flu jab.

Flu is a highly contagious infection that anyone can catch, and it can be a serious illness for some.

The NHS in Northamptonshire is encouraging everyone who knows anyone who may be at risk from flu to tell them how important it is that they get protected.

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 Darin Seiger, chairman of NHS Nene Clinical Commissioning Group, 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.”

Dr Peter Wilczynski, chairman of NHS Corby Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “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.”

The best time to be vaccinated is at the start of the flu season from October to early November, so it’s good to get in early and get flu safe in time for the winter.

People should contact their GP practice to arrange a convenient appointment and get your jab. It’s quick, safe and free for those most at risk from the virus.

County councillor Robin Brown, cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, said: “It’s important that you think about getting a flu vaccination. 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.

“The vaccination doesn’t contain the ‘live’ virus so it cannot give you the flu. And remember, 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.”

For more information, speak to your GP or local pharmacist, or visit www.nhs.uk/flu.