Older residents in Northants urged to get flu jab

Elderly residents are being urged to get the flu jab
Elderly residents are being urged to get the flu jab

Older people across the counnty are being urged to get a free flu jab to help protect them this winter.

More than 40,000 patients aged 65 and over have already received the vaccination so far this winter, however many more are yet to have the jab.

Dr Darin Seiger, chairman of NHS Nene Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “If you are over 65, it is vital to get a flu jab, to protect you at the time of year when you are most vulnerable.

“Flu is not just a bad cold.

“It can increase the risk of developing more serious illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia, or can make existing conditions worse.

“In the worst cases, the flu can result in a stay in hospital, and it can even be a killer.”

Dr Peter Wilczynski, chairman of NHS Corby Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The flu jab is free to anyone over the age of 65 and is the best possible protection against the flu virus.

“Carers of elderly people are also advised to get vaccinated to avoid passing it on to the person they care for.

“The best time to get the jab is at the start of the flu season, so it’s good to get in early and get flu safe in time for the winter.”

Cllr Robin Brown, Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for public health and well-being, said: “I’m over 65 so I’m making sure that I get a flu vaccination to protect myself from this nasty virus and I would advise everyone in this age group to do the same.

“Catching flu at this age can have very serious consequences; it could put you in hospital or even worse.

“And even if you have had the vaccination before, the types of virus in circulation change every year, as does the vaccine, therefore it is important that those you get vaccinated every winter.

“The flu jab does not contain live viruses and cannot give someone the flu.”

During the winter of 2011/12, 624 deaths in the county had influenza and pneumonia as the underlying cause of death.

Between August 2012 and July 2013, 1,684 patients were admitted to hospital due to flu or pneumonia.

Simply contact your GP to arrange a convenient appointment and get your jab.

For more information visit www.nhs.uk/flu.