Call to take up free flu jab

People in Bridlington who are eligible for the free flu jab are being urged to take up the offer.
People in Bridlington who are eligible for the free flu jab are being urged to take up the offer.

The winter nights will soon be creeping in and East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s associate director of public health is urging people who are eligible for the free flu vaccination to take up the offer.

Free flu jabs are available for people aged 65 and over, people aged from six months to less than 65 years of age with a long-term health condition, pregnant women, children aged from two to four years, people in long-stay residential care homes, and carers.

All children aged two to nine years are to be offered flu vaccinations as a nasal spray.

Children in Reception and school years 1 to 5 will be offered the flu vaccination within a school-based programme. This will help with uptake and will make it easier for parents as the need for fitting in GP appointments around work and school is removed.

Mike McDermott said: “The more people who are vaccinated, the lower the likelihood and spread of infection, reducing pressure on the NHS and Social Care during winter months.

“Flu is dangerous, highly contagious and largely preventable.

“For most people who catch flu it is unpleasant, but for some it can lead to chest infections, severe complications and even death.

“The best way to avoid catching and spreading flu is by having the vaccination before the flu season starts.

“Don’t be put off getting the flu vaccination. If you are eligible get it now, it’s free because you need it.

“If you have a long-term health condition, even one that is well managed, have a serious medical condition or are pregnant, you are at greater risk of severe complications if you catch flu.”

A serious medical condition includes:

○ chronic (long-term) respiratory disease, such as severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchitis

○ chronic heart disease, such as heart failure

○ chronic kidney disease at stage three, four or five

○ chronic liver disease

○ chronic neurological disease, such as Parkinson’s disease or motor neurone disease, or learning disability

○ diabetes

○ splenic dysfunction

○ a weakened immune system due to disease (such as HIV/AIDS) or treatment (such as cancer treatment)

○ morbidly obese (defined as BMI (Body Mass Index) of 40 and above).