Now is the time for those at greatest risk from flu to protect themselves and their families and get flu safe with a free jab.
The plea was made this week by the organisation responsible for planning and buying health services for more than 520,000 patients in Derby and Southern Derbyshire.
NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) warned that flu is a highly contagious infection that anyone can catch, and it can be a really serious illness for some. Those at greater risk from flu include people aged 65 or over, pregnant women, and people with health conditions such as severe asthma, chest or heart complaints and diabetes.
During October and November, the people at most risk will be encouraged to get flu safe with a free flu jab from their GP. The NHS in England is launching a Flu Safe campaign to remind people that they should get a flu jab. Flu Safe is a national message to highlight the
importance of getting the jab, and dispels the myths around the vaccine.
Dr Sheila Newport, Chair of NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG, said:
“Flu is not like a cold – it can be a really serious illness for some people and it doesn’t just affect older people. If you’re pregnant, have lowered immunity or a long-term health condition such as severe asthma, a chest or heart complaint or diabetes, then you should get a free flu jab from your GP and get flu safe. The flu jab is safe, and it doesn’t give you flu.”
The CCG is urging everyone who knows anyone who may be at risk from flu to tell them how important it is that they get protected. Carers and frontline health and social care staff are also encouraged to get a free jab to protect themselves and those around them.
The flu vaccine changes every year to fight the latest strains of flu so even if you had a jab last winter you need another one this year to stay flu safe. The jab doesn’t contain the ‘live’ virus so it cannot give you the flu.
Dr Newport added:
“Flu can increase the risk of developing more serious illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and can make existing conditions much worse. Flu can knock you off your feet and make it hard to look after the kids or go to work. In the most serious cases, seasonal flu might land you in hospital - it can even be a killer.
“If you’re in any of the at-risk groups, the flu jab is completely free and is a safe way of protecting you and your family in a matter of minutes.”
The best time to be vaccinated is at the start of the flu season from October to early November so it’s good to get in early and get flu safe in time for the winter.
Simply contact your GP to arrange a convenient appointment and get your jab. It’s quick, safe and free for those most at risk from the virus.
For more information, speak to your GP or local pharmacist, or visit www.nhs.uk/flu.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG represents 57 GP practices and is one of four clinical commissioning groups in the county responsible for the healthcare of people in Derbyshire.
Charles Malkin, Communications Officer
Tel: 01246 514971/07825 274111