GPs back flu jab campaign

GPs in North Kirklees are backing the annual flu vaccination campaign by urging at risk groups to get a flu jab.

Women who are pregnant, children aged 2, 3 and 4 years of age, front line health and social care staff, people (including children) under 65 with serious health conditions and people aged 65 are all eligible for a free flu vaccination.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people may see their GP and tens of thousands may be hospitalised because of flu. For most healthy people, flu is an unpleasant but usually self-limiting disease with recovery generally within a week. However, older people, the very young, women who are pregnant and those with some underlying diseases are at particular risk of severe illness 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.

Dr David Kelly, local GP and chair of North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group said “Now autumn has arrived, we are encouraging people in these target groups who haven’t yet received their free jab to do so before the weather worsens and the level of flu circulating in the general community increases.”

This year children aged 2, 3 and 4 will be offered a nasal spray vaccine to protect them against flu. Young children’s close contact with each other means they are more likely to transmit the virus to other more vulnerable groups – including their friends, their brothers and sisters, mums and dads and grandparents.

Judith Hooper, Kirklees Council’s Director of Public Health said: “Vaccination remains the safest way for people to protect themselves. I urge everyone who is eligible to get the vaccine to help protect themselves and their families this winter. Anyone can keep Flu at bay by thinking Catch It, Bin It, Kill It i.e. use tissues to cover nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing, binning the tissue immediately then wash hands. Other ways to help yourself are have a supply of cough medicine, painkillers and try to keep away from people who maybe prone to infection.”

For information on vaccinations contact your local GP surgery or visit www.nhs.uk/flu

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