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Advice on Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Are you eligible for a free flu vaccination?

User AvatarPosted by Daniel Harper at 17/10/2019 14:09:41

The largest ever flu protection drive to help keep people well and ease pressure on urgent care services over the colder months is under way.

Are you one of the record 25 million people in England being offered a free flu vaccination this year?

Flu is a highly infectious disease and can lead to serious complications particularly for people with underlying health condition such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties such as bronchitis and emphysema, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease or a chronic neurological disease like multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and some learning disabilities.

Flu, on top of health conditions like these, increases the chance of serious health complications resulting in a hospital visit.

Best defence

The flu vaccination is the single best defence against what can be a serious illness.

Dr Bob Bowes, Chair of NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Having a flu vaccination not only helps to protect you but people who are dear to you too.

“Some people are more susceptible to flu because of their age or health conditions. Please do check to see you are eligible for one of the free vaccinations and help us, help you this winter.”

If you’re eligible, get your flu vaccination from your general practice or pharmacy to help protect yourself this winter.

Are you eligible?

People who are eligible for the NHS flu vaccine this year include:

  • Those aged 65 and over
  • Those aged 6 months to 64 with a long-term health condition
  • Children aged 2-3 (on 31 August 2019) via their GP practice
  • School children in years reception, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6
  • Pregnant women
  • Health and social care workers
  • Carers

Catch it, bin it, kill it.

As well as getting the vaccine, practising good hand hygiene by catching coughs and sneezes in a tissue, throwing it away and washing your hands after can help limit its spread – catch it, bin it, kill it. 

Super spreaders

This year the offer of the vaccine is now extended to all primary school aged children – an extra 600,000 children.

Protecting children is crucial for protecting the rest of the population as they tend to be ‘super spreaders’ of flu due to poorer hand hygiene.

For the first time, all primary school children will be offered the nasal spray flu vaccine.

If you’ve children aged two and three (on 31 August 2019), contact your GP practice.

Flu symptoms

  • high temperature
  • body aches
  • fatigue