GPs in Calderdale are urging those most vulnerable to flu to get their free vaccination ahead of the winter period when the virus is most common. Flu is easy to catch and pass to others, and can lead to serious complications in people with long-term health conditions
People who are eligible for the NHS flu vaccine this year include:
- Those aged 65 and over.
- Those aged six months to 64 with a long-term health condition.
- Children aged two-three (on 31 August 2019) via their GP practice.
- School children in reception classes and years one, two, three, four five and six.
- Pregnant women.
- Health and social care workers.
Children can spread the virus easily around their families and friends. This year primary school children up to year six will be given the flu vaccine at school to protect them, and any vulnerable adults they come into contact with, from the virus. For healthy children aged two and three the flu vaccine is in the form of a nasal spray, administered by a health professional.
Dr Farrukh Javid, GP at Rastrick Health Centre and Calderdale’s clinical lead for flu, wants people to be clear on why it’s important to have a flu jab:
“People most likely to be seriously affected by flu are young children and elderly people, as well as those who have chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes.
“You may think ‘I don’t really fit any of those categories, so it’s not important that I get a flu jab;’ however, it’s really important to understand that flu can affect anyone – even those who are usually fit and healthy.
“The flu jab is the best way to protect yourself, and members of your family against flu. Maybe you’re a carer for an unwell person, or you may have children or perhaps you go to visit older friends or relatives regularly.
“By having the jab you’re potentially shielding the virus from affecting your loved ones so even though you’re not high risk yourself, you’ve done your bit to stop it affecting someone who is.
“Flu is an unpredictable virus, and you need to get a flu jab every year to protect yourself ahead of flu season. And remember: the flu-jab CANNOT give you flu!”
Speak to your GP, pharmacist or midwife for information on the flu vaccine. You can also go to www.nhs.uk/staywell for more details on the flu vaccine and how to stay well over the winter months.