Flu jab - it’s free because you need it
Public Health is concerned that the flu vaccine uptake in individuals aged 65 and over, expectant mothers and people with long term health conditions has been low this winter so far in Herefordshire.
However, it ihas been very encouraging that the flu vaccine uptake in Y1 & Y2 school children has exceeded the national target across Herefordshire. Public Health urges in individuals aged 65 and over, expectant mothers and people with long term health conditions to get their flu vaccine as priority.
Prof Rod Thomson Director Public Health at Herefordshire Council said:
"Flu is a highly contagious illness that spreads rapidly through the population. It can cause serious complications for at risk groups, such as individuals aged 65 and over, expectant mothers and people with long term health conditions."
"This year more children are being vaccinated because we know that they can very easily pick up germs and spread them amongst friends and family members. This vaccination programme helps protect the population and we are pleased that there has been a high take up of the nasal spray in Herefordshire."
Dr Arif Mahmood Consultant in public health at Herefordshire Council said,
"However my advice for anyone eligible for the free flu vaccination is to get it now before flu starts to circulate widely in the community, especially those who are over 65, those who have long-term health conditions and those expectant mothers"
Although it's not possible to know which strains of flu will circulate each winter, the flu vaccination is still the best protection against an unpredictable virus which can cause severe illness and deaths amongst vulnerable groups.
Throughout the last decade, there has generally been a good match between the strains of flu in the vaccine and those that subsequently circulate, so it's important that we do all we can to ensure vulnerable people are not discouraged from having flu vaccination now, or in the future.
If you haven't yet had a flu jab but you're eligible because you have a long term health condition, are pregnant or are over 65 then pharmacies in Herefordshire are offering the vaccine.
Vaccines are available between October 2015 and March 2016, so contact your local GP or pharmacy now - it's free because you need it
Published: Thursday, 21st January 2016