Get the Flu Jab!

As the long nights draw in and temperatures drop, doctors are promoting the opportunity for people to get the free flu vaccination to avoid the winter illness. On average, flu kills around 8,000 people a year in England. Flu is highly infectious and caused by viruses that spread from person to person. The viruses are constantly changing and this is one of the main reasons why people should be vaccinated annually.

The symptoms, which can come on very quickly, include fever, chills, headaches, aches and pains in the joints and muscles and extreme tiredness. Health professionals are encouraging those who need the vaccination to have it, to protect their own health and also to protect the health of their family, work colleagues and friends from the debilitating effects of the flu. This includes all patient-facing workers in health and social care to reduce the risk to themselves and their patients this winter.

People who are eligible for a free flu vaccination include adults aged over 65, adults with long term conditions such as COPD, bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, diabetes, heart, kidney or liver disease or those who have had a stroke and pregnant women. Children aged two to three and children in school years 1-5 can also receive a vaccination as well as carers and health and social care workers. People can get their flu jab from a GP practice, or pharmacy and should call 111 if they feel really unwell and think they might already have flu.

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