Local GPs urge people to get their flu jab

GPs in Kirklees are encouraging local people to get their free NHS flu vaccine to help protect them from flu and its potentially serious complications.

The vaccine is provided free of charge to those who are at risk. This year it’s being offered to a much wider range of people than ever before, so you may be offered a jab for the first time. Those eligible for a free flu jab include:

  • adults aged 65 and over
  • people with certain medical conditions
  • pregnant women
  • people living with someone who’s at high risk from coronavirus
  • children aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2020
  • children in primary school
  • children in year 7
  • frontline health or social care workers

If you’re the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk, receive a carer’s allowance, or live with someone on the NHS shielded patient list, you may also be eligible for a free jab.

Dr Khalid Naeem, GP and Chair of North Kirklees CCG Governing Body said, “Flu is an unpredictable virus that kills an average of 11,000 people and causes thousands of hospitalisations every year.  This is anything but a typical year and we all want to protect ourselves and those close to us – as well as helping to take the pressure off NHS and social care services.”

Dr Steve Ollerton, GP and Chair of Greater Huddersfield CCG said, “The flu jab protects those most at risk. It’s the best protection we have against this nasty and at times fatal virus.  While flu causes mild illness in most people, some are more likely to develop potentially serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia. The flu vaccine helps protect family, friends and people you care for who may be vulnerable.”

Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Director of Public Health for Kirklees Council said, “The flu vaccination programme is always important. This year it’s more important than ever and we are actively encouraging people to have their flu jab.

“The programme is being expanded  to help protect people from flu and ease pressure on the NHS and urgent care services, and I would ask that if you are invited for vaccination you take the offer.

“With COVID still circulating, and the increased risk to life if you are ill with both viruses simultaneously, it’s vital to get the free jab as soon as you can. “

GP practices have put in place a range of measures to keep people safe when they receive their vaccination.  This includes social distancing, the use of protective clothing (PPE), time specific appointments and drive-through options.  Wherever you get your jab, you will be expected to wear a face covering and sanitise your hands thoroughly.

If you think you’re eligible for a flu jab, contact your GP practice to arrange an appointment.  You can also have your jab at a local pharmacy free of charge if you’re in one of the at risk groups.

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