Leading health figures from Sefton Council, NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG are urging residents eligible for the flu jab to make sure they get protected.
Free flu vaccinations are available to those who are most seriously affected by the flu because they need it. This includes pregnant women, who can have the vaccine at any stage of pregnancy, children aged 2 to 9, residents of all ages with a long-term health condition, everyone aged 65 and over, and people who are carers or work in health or social care roles.
While most people can expect to recover from flu in about a week, each winter, tens of thousands of people in England end up in hospital because of flu with thousands dying from complications of seasonal flu.
People who are eligible can get vaccinated at their local GP practice or pharmacy and parents with children in years 1-5 will be asked for permission for them to receive the nasal spray vaccination at school. Parents of pre-school children over two years old will be invited in by their GP practice and can book an appointment for their child to have the flu nasal spray.
Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “I strongly recommend that all those who are eligible for a free vaccination make sure they get it to protect themselves from the adverse effects of flu.
“The flu vaccination is one of the most effective ways to reduce harm from flu and drastically reduces serious illness, hospitalisation and even death among those who are most at risk.”
Chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, Dr Rob Caudwell, said: “Anyone of any age with an existing health condition, like asthma or diabetes should get vaccinated, even if they generally feel healthy and well. This is because a dose of flu can greatly worsen their condition and make complications like pneumonia more likely.”
Acting chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, Dr Craig Gillespie, said: “Carers are also eligible for a free flu jab as well as those they look after.
“If you’re not sure if you’re eligible, or if you have any questions about getting vaccinated, simply check the NHS website or contact your GP practice and ask for advice, we’ll be happy to help.”
Susanne Lynch, head of medicines management at the CCGs in Sefton, said: “As a member of front line staff working directly with patients, I am offered the flu jab and always have mine. It’s so important for those who are eligible so please take it up if you are.”
If you are eligible for the flu vaccine, get it now – it’s free because you need it. Contact your general practice or pharmacist to get it.
You can find a wide range of information about the annual flu immunisation campaign and see whether you are eligible at: www.nhs.uk/fluvaccine. If you have any further queries simply ask at your GP practice or pharmacist.