published on 13 October 2015
Health chiefs in Hartlepool are urging people who are at high risk from seasonal flu to protect themselves with a free vaccination. The annual flu vaccination campaign begins in October, but local GPs are contacting all eligible patients and carers in the run up to the campaign to invite them for their jab. You are advised to get the jab this winter if you:
- Are a pregnant woman
- Are aged over 65
- Have a long term health condition such as diabetes, asthma, a heart condition (this includes children with serious health problems)
- Have a learning disability
- Have a weakened immune system
- Care for people in these 'at risk' groups.
Over the next few years flu vaccination will also start to be offered annually to all children aged 2-16 years.
For this coming winter preschool children aged 2,3 and 4 will be invited for vaccination (nasal spray) by their GPs.
Louise Wallace, Hartlepool's Director of Public Health, said: "The vaccine changes every year to fight the latest strains of flu, so even if you had a job last winter you still need another one this year to stay safe from flu. " isn't just a cold.
For some people it can be a very serious illness and it doesn't just affect those who are older. "The flu jab is safe, and it can't give you the flu. It's particularly important that children with serious underlying conditions get the flu jab as they are at higher risk of complications of flu."
If you consider yourself to be in an 'at risk' group, contact your local GP and get the seasonal flu jab for free. You may also get your flu jab for free at your local participating pharmacy if you are in an 'at risk' group.