Time to get your flu jab  Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Flu is not like having a very heavy cold

The Clinical Commissioning Groups in Bedford, Luton and Milton Keynes are urging local people to have the flu jab. This year the flu vaccine will be even more widely available.

So everyone is being encouraged to take the vaccination to prevent becoming unwell.

Last year, GPs were still seeing far too many patients suffering from flu symptoms. People can protect themselves and their families simply by having the flu jab. This is now being offered at flu clinics, local pharmacies, schools and at some places of work.

The flu jab is safe, effective and for many it’s free of charge. Adults aged 65 and over, people with long-term conditions, pregnant women, and frontline health and social care workers all have a higher risk of getting flu, so are eligible for free flu vaccinations. People with a learning disability and those who care for them are also being encouraged to have the seasonal flu vaccine.

For the first time, the vaccination programme is being extended to include all primary school children, who will be offered the nasal spray vaccine.

For those who do not qualify for a free flu jab, most pharmacies charge less than £10 for the jab – just drop into your nearest pharmacy to enquire.

A severe case of flu can result in hospital treatment and can even cause death

Some people mistakenly believe that getting the flu is just like having a very heavy cold. It is actually a serious, debilitating illness that can lead to major complications. Particularly if you have an underlying health condition such as lung disease, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease or liver disease.

A severe case of flu can result in the patient needing hospital treatment and can even cause death. The flu vaccine is the best defence against flu and it will protect those people who are most vulnerable.

Flu is a viral infection spread through coughs and sneezes, so as well as getting vaccinated it’s important to practise good hand hygiene to avoid spreading the virus. Always catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue, throw it away and then wash your hands. Remember the advice, “catch it, bin it, kill it!”

For more information visit:

www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/who-should-have-flu-vaccine/