Living with a health condition? Get the flu jab, get flu safe

The flu jab is the best way to get protection from flu yet last winter almost half the population at most risk from flu didn’t get the jab.
Now, the NHS in Derbyshire is urging more people with a health condition, such as severe asthma, diabetes or a chest or heart complaint, to get flu safe with a free flu jab.
Dr Sheila Newport, Chair of NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said:
“People with health conditions are used to managing their health and taking precautions. However, many do not realise the risk that flu can pose to them. Flu can knock even the healthiest people off their feet for a couple of weeks but getting flu when you already have a health condition can lead to serious complications and it can even be a killer.
“Unlike other medication for long-term health conditions, the flu jab is an annual one-off vaccine. 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.
“Please don’t underestimate flu – make an appointment with your local GP surgery and get your jab now to protect yourself all winter long. The flu jab is completely safe and doesn’t carry the live flu virus so it can’t give you flu.” 
Each winter East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) sees an increase in the number of 999 calls, and many calls for help are from people suffering from flu.
Pete Ripley, assistant director of operations at EMAS, said: “Getting flu when you already have a health condition can be devastating to both your health and your family life. Unlike people with no underlying health condition who can treat themselves at home, often people suffering from flu with a long-term condition will need transporting into hospital for treatment.
“Not only is that upsetting for themselves and their loved ones but it’s impossible for them to work or look after their kids when they’re being treated in hospital. I urge anyone with a health condition to get the jab to help them stay out of hospital, and have a happy, healthy winter.”
Simply contact your GP to arrange a convenient appointment and get your jab. It’s quick, safe and free for those with a health condition. 
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: 01332 868954/07825 274111

Ref: SD/RHR/43

Published: 25/04/2014