All residents in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin who are entitled to a free flu vaccine are being encouraged by NHS Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS Telford & Wrekin CCG and Shropshire Council Public Health teams to make sure they get it as part of staying well this winter.
The NHS offers free flu vaccinations is to those who are at increased risk from the effects of flu. These include:
• people aged 65 and over
• pregnant women
• people with underlying health conditions
• children (aged 2-9)
Dr Julian Povey, Chair of NHS Shropshire CCG and Dr Jo Leahy Chair of NHS Telford & Wrekin CCG, said: “Flu is much more serious than getting a cold and the effects of seasonal flu are often underestimated. If you think you may be eligible for the free flu jab, speak to your GP, local pharmacist or midwife, it is not too late to vaccinate.”
Flu is a highly infectious disease and is different to the common cold. People suffering with flu like symptoms should catch coughs or sneezes in tissues and bin them immediately, wash their hands regularly with soap and warm water and frequently clean regularly used surfaces to stop the spread of flu – Catch it, bin it and kill it.
Councillor Lee Chapman, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Health and Housing, said; “We appreciate it’s a very busy time for many people this time of year, and it’s understandable that you may want to put off your flu jab. However we can’t stress enough how important it is for those who are eligible for a free flu vaccination, to take up this offer.
“The vaccine is the best defence we have against the spread of flu, and it isn’t too late to get vaccinated. Not only will it help protect you, but your loved ones as well.”
If you think you have flu, stay home and rest until you feel better. Call NHS 111 if you have an underlying health condition or feel really unwell.
Symptoms of Flu include fever, chills, headaches, aching muscles, joint pain and fatigue. It can lead to serious complications if you have an underlying health condition such as COPD, bronchitis, emphysema, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease or a chronic neurological disease like multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy. Flu, on top of health conditions like these, increases your chance of serious health complications and a hospital visit. Flu is that serious that it kills an average of 8,000 people every year.
For older people taking up their flu vaccine could reduce GP consultations by 30,000, hospitalisations by over 2,000 and prevent over 700 hospital deaths from flu in England.
For more flu advice please click here for further information.
Shropshire Council has also put together a dedicated website to help people stay safe and well this winter. Visit https://www.shropshire.gov.uk/stay-safe-and-well-this-winter/