Don’t put off the flu vaccination – it’s free because you need it

As we head into autumn it’s time for those at greatest risk from flu to protect themselves and their families by getting a free flu jab, say local GPs.    

Dr Steve Ollerton, local GP and chair of NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said; “Vaccination really is the best protection against the virus and it’s free for those who need it most.  Flu is potentially a very serious illness so it’s really important that people with an increased risk get their flu jab this winter”.

People aged over 65 years, children aged from two years and up to school year five, pregnant women, anyone who is the main carer for another person or who is in receipt of carer’s allowance and those with long-term health conditions such as diabetes and asthma are  eligible for a free flu jab this year.

A newly available vaccine for the over 65s is expected to significantly boost effectiveness by improving the body’s immune response. This is important because older adults’ bodies typically do not respond as well to the flu vaccine due to their naturally weaker immune systems.

Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG, said; “Your GP practice will be in touch to let you know if you’re eligible for the free flu jab.  It’s really important that you go along to your local flu clinic or book an appointment with your surgery or pharmacist as soon as you can to make sure that you and your family are protected throughout the winter period”.

If you’re eligible or want to check whether you or someone close to you is, contact your GP practice, midwife or usual healthcare provider. Visit www.nhs.uk/staywell for more information.

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