Get your winter flu jab

Communities / Thu 16th Oct 2014 at 10:24am

LOCAL health and care professionals are reminding everyone who is eligible for a free influenza (flu) vaccine about the importance of getting theirs before winter.

This includes people aged 65 or over, people of all ages with a relevant health condition, pregnant women and children aged two to four, who are all strongly recommended to have their flu vaccine now to protect them from this year’s virus.

To arrange getting a flu vaccine, those eligible can simply contact their GP surgery to book an appointment or find out when their next flu clinic is and drop in. Children at primary and secondary schools in west Essex will receive the vaccine in school, as part of a county wide pilot scheme.

This could be as a quick, painless and effective nasal spray vaccine which is available for young children to protect them from flu without the need for injections.
Anyone who is not eligible for a free vaccine can purchase and receive theirs from a local pharmacy.

Dr Christine Moss, clinical director at West Essex CCG said: “Last year, over 200 people in west Essex with a long term health condition were urgently admitted to hospital with flu or pneumonia, which they could have avoided with a simple vaccine.

“That’s why we’re encouraging people, especially those at greater risk such as pregnant women, people with a health condition or children aged two to four years of age, to help themselves to stay healthy this winter by getting their free flu vaccine now.”

Last winter in Harlow, Epping Forest and Uttlesford only 46.9 percent of people aged six months to 65 years and deemed to be at-risk, took up the offer of the free flu vaccine while 70 percent of those aged 65 and had their free vaccine.

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