THERE’S still time for people to book their flu vaccinations and get protected ahead of the winter season.
GP practices and pharmacies are getting new supplies of the flu vaccine all the time and everyone eligible to get vaccinated is encouraged to book an appointment, if they haven’t done so already.
Flu is a serious condition that kills on average 11,000 people in England each year and hospitalises tens of thousands more. And this is anything but an average year. Adults at high risk from flu are also most at risk from covid-19. The free flu vaccine is more important than ever to help protect residents from a double threat this winter.
Currently those eligible for the free vaccination are:
* people aged 65 and over
* pregnant women
* people with certain health conditions, including kidney disease, asthma and heart disease
* carers and those in care homes
* frontline health and social care workers
* children over six months with a long-term health condition
* children aged two and three
* children in primary school
* children aged 11 by 31 August 2020
* anyone living in a household with somebody on the NHS shielded patient list
* those with a learning disability
People can find out what their local arrangements are for getting their free vaccination by contacting their GP practice, looking on the practice website or asking a pharmacist. Anyone with a child at school and aged 4-11-years-old should remember to sign and return the consent form.
Tameside Council Executive Member Cllr Eleanor Wills, responsible for health, said: “It’s more important than ever this year that everyone who is eligible for a free flu vaccination gets one to protect themselves and others. It is not too late to get one and new supplies are coming in all of the time. We’re particularly encouraging people with long term health conditions and pregnant women to book vaccinations as these groups do not always realise they are eligible.
“Likewise, parents of two and three year olds should book the nasal flu vaccinations with their GP for their little ones – young children can be super spreaders of flu and getting them vaccinated not only helps to keep them well and in nursery, it helps to protect other members of the family too.”
The flu vaccine is given to adults and older children with an injection. Younger children are given the vaccine with a nasal spray – this can also be requested for people with a learning disability.
In previous years, some children have been unable to have the vaccine, as the nasal spray contains a small amount of porcine gelatine. Parents can now request their child is vaccinated with an injection, which does not include gelatine, should they wish to.