Health bosses from NHS East Lancashire and NHS Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Groups are reminding those who are eligible for their free winter flu vaccines and boosters to visit their doctor or local pharmacy if they haven’t already done so. It is not too late to protect yourself from flu.
The flu virus can cause a sudden high temperature, headache, general aches and pains, tiredness, sore throat, coughing, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhoea, exhaustion and a general feeling of unwell.
You are eligible to receive a free flu jab if you:
- are 65 years of age or over
- are pregnant
- have certain medical conditions such as asthma or diabetes
- are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility
- receive a carer’s allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
Dr Mike Ions, Chief Clinical Officer at NHS East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “For most people flu isn’t pleasant but one that they fully recover from quite easily. However, there is a much greater risk that flu will lead to serious complications in others depending upon circumstance.
“We encourage pregnant women, the over 65s and anyone with any chronic conditions to get the jab as soon as possible. For individuals in these at risk groups who still haven’t had their vaccine it is vital to take this seriously and act now.”
All two and three year old children can also be given the vaccine this year for the first time, taken through a nasal spray rather than injected.
It is also strongly recommended that all pregnant women, whatever their stage of pregnancy, get immunised.
Dr Chris Clayton, Clinical Chief Officer at NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG, added: “The flu vaccination is safe and can be given at any stage of pregnancy, it cannot give people the flu as it does not contain live viruses. Please contact your GP surgery to book a flu vaccine or visit www.nhs.uk/Service-Search to find your local pharmacy.”