National flu vaccine campaign

The national flu vaccine campaign is now underway which aims to encourage ‘at risk’ patients to have the vaccination to prevent the spread of the virus. For most healthy people, flu is an unpleasant virus but they will usually recover within a week. However, older people, the very young, women who are pregnant and those with some underlying health conditions are at risk of more severe illness and complications if they catch flu.The best way for people to protect themselves and their family is to get the flu vaccine before flu starts circulating in the community.

We are encouraging all patients who are entitled to a free flu vaccine to make sure they get it as part of keeping healthy this winter. Free flu jabs are available to people with long term conditions, the over 65s and pregnant women, while children aged two, three and four are given the vaccine via nasal spray.

Flu is not just a bad cold, it’s a nasty virus. It can increase the risk of someone developing more serious illnesses, especially people who are already vulnerable. In the worst cases, flu can result in a hospital stay, and it can even kill.

The vaccine is the best possible protection against the flu virus. The types of flu virus in circulation change every year and so does the vaccine, so it’s really important that patients get the jab every winter. All GP practices will be holding flu clinics and I strongly encourage patients to get their vaccine as soon as possible.

Vaccines will be available between October 2014 – March 2015 from your local GP or a pharmacy near you.

For more information visit www.nhs.uk/flu

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Filed under Chair's blog: Dr David Kelly

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