Southwark’s top GP says now is the time to go and get your flu jab

News Desk (19 October, 2017)

Dr Jonty Heaversedge is chair of the Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group

9292Dr Jonty Heaversedge

With winter fast approaching, now is the time to have your annual flu vaccination.

This protects you from flu throughout the winter months and is particularly important if you are vulnerable as catching flu could lead to more serious complications for you.

This year, more people than ever can benefit from a free flu jab on the NHS. If you are one of them, don’t put off getting it – if it’s free for you, it’s because you need it. It’s quick and easy to get vaccinated and is strongly recommended by the NHS.

You can get a free flu vaccination if you:

  • Are aged over 65
  • Have a long term condition (e.g. diabetes, asthma)
  • Are a carer for someone
  • Work in frontline health or care services
  • Are a child aged between 2 and 8
  • Are pregnant

Children age two and three can have the vaccine at their GP surgery. School-age children from Reception to Year 4 will be offered it at school. For children, the flu vaccine is not an injection, it’s a nasal spray. Flu can be horrible for little children, and if they get it, they can spread it around the whole family. Some children develop a very high fever or complications of flu, such as bronchitis or pneumonia, and may need hospital treatment, but getting them vaccinated will help prevent this.

Pregnant women are also eligible for a free jab as pregnancy naturally weakens the body’s immune system and pregnant women who get flu may be less able to fight off infections. The flu jab is the safest way to protect mother and your baby and you can have it at any stage of pregnancy.

Adults who are not eligible for a free vaccination can have the vaccination privately from a pharmacist to help them ward off common winter illnesses and stay well.

To find out more, contact your GP or pharmacist. Alternatively, visit www.nhs.uk/staywell

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