Take your free ‘flu jab

NEWS: News.

NEWS: News.

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Health leaders in Gedling and Hucknall are urging those most at risk from flu to protect themselves and their families as a matter of priority with a free flu jab.

Full protection from the vaccine takes up to two weeks to develop and can help prevent vulnerable patients from further health complications associated with influenza such as pneumonia.

Those most at risk include pregnant women, people living with a health condition such as severe asthma, chest or heart complaints, and those aged 65 and over.

Throughout autumn and winter, critical care units across the region become busy with people who should have been vaccinated against flu, most of these patients would have been eligible for a free flu jab on the NHS.

Dr Paul Oliver, clinical lead for NHS Nottingham North and East Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “I cannot express enough how important it is that those at risk protect themselves from what can be a very nasty virus for those affected.

“It is also a very preventable illness; and the jab itself is quick, safe and free for those most at risk .”

Flu vaccinations are currently offered free of charge to the following ‘at risk’ groups:

People aged 65 years and over (including those becoming 65 years of age by 31st March 2015).

All pregnant women (including those women who become pregnant during the flu season).

Children aged 2-3, who are eligible for a free nasal flu vaccination.

People with a serious medical condition such as chronic (long-term) respiratory disease, such as severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchitis.

It also includes those with chronic heart disease, such as heart failure; chronic kidney disease at stage 3, 4 or 5; chronic liver disease; chronic neurological disease, such as Parkinson’s disease or motor neurone disease; diabetes - a weakened immune system due to disease (such as HIV/AIDS) or treatment (such as cancer treatment).

People 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.

This does not include, for instance, prisons, young offender institutions, or university halls of residence.

People who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an older or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill.

For more information about the free flu jabs, speak to your GP or contact your local pharmacist, or alternatively visit www.nhs.uk/flu to find out more.