Don’t put off the flu vaccination – it’s free because you need it
Residents across east Berkshire are encouraged to stay well this winter and get their flu jab.
The CCGs in east Berkshire are encouraging residents to get their flu jab this winter. The flu vaccination is part of the Stay Well This Winter campaign, a joint initiative from NHS England and Public Health England, to help the public ward off common winter illnesses.
It is particularly important for people in the groups below to get their free flu vaccination:
- Aged 65 years or over (including those becoming age 65 years by 31 March 2018)
- Aged from 6 months to less than 65 years of ages with a serious medical condition which 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; weakened immune system due to disease (such as HIV/AIDS) or treatment (such as cancer treatment); morbidly obese (defined as BMI of 40 and above)
- You are pregnant (including those women who become pregnant during the flu season)
- A child aged two to eight on 31 August 2017
- Living in long-stay residential care homes or other long-stay care facilities where rapid spread is likely to follow introduction of infection and cause high morbidity and mortality. Please note that this does not include prisons, young offender institutions, or university halls of residence
- You are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or if you are the main carer of an older or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill
If you are eligible for the flu vaccine get it now – it’s free because you need it! Contact your GP, pharmacist or midwife to the get the flu jab.
For more information, read the Flu Vaccination winter 2017 to 2018: who should have it and why leaflet.
Jim O'Donnell, Slough GP and the Clinical Chair of Slough CCG, talks about the importance of having the flu vaccine.
People with long term conditions
Flu is a highly infectious disease and can lead to serious complications if you have a long-term health condition like: COPD; bronchitis, emphysema; diabetes; heart, kidney or liver disease or have suffered a stroke. Flu on top of health conditions like these can easily develop into something very serious and could land you in hospital. People with these and other long-term health conditions are eligible for a free flu jab through their GP or pharmacist (see list of pharmacies offering the vaccine below).
Parents of children aged 2,3 and 4 and children in school reception and years 1,2, 3 and 4
Flu can be horrible for little children, the flu vaccine can help protect your child from flu and also reduce the chance of flu spreading to others. Children who get the flu have the same symptoms as adults – including fever, chills, aching muscles, headache, stuffy nose, dry cough and sore throat. Some children develop a very high fever or complications of flu, such as bronchitis or pneumonia and may need hospital treatment.
The flu vaccine is not an injection, just a quick nasal spray.
If you have a child aged 2, 3 or 4, you can get their free nasal spray flu vaccine from their GP.
Children in reception and school years 1, 2, 3 and 4 will get their vaccinations through their school.
Pregnancy naturally weakens the body’s immune system and as flu can cause serious complications for you and your baby. Pregnant women who get the flu may be less able to fight off infections, increasing the risk of becoming ill.
The flu jab is the safest way to protect you and your baby against flu and you can have it at any stage of pregnancy, however fit and healthy you might feel.
For more information, and to book your appointment speak to your GP or midewife.
People aged 65 or over
Flu can be more severe in people aged 65 or over. Flu can lead to serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia (a lung infection), and you could end up in hospital.
People with learning disabilities
Public health England have produced an Easy Read Flu Leaflet for people with learning disabilities.