Be safe, get protected and get the free flu jab

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VULNERABLE Hucknall and Bulwell residents are being urged to protect themselves this winter by getting a free flu jab.

Nottingham Paralympian Daniel West, who has won a bevvy of medals competing in the shot put, is encouraging those most at risk to get vaccinated.

Daniel has cerebral palsy — a neurological condition — so is among those targeted in an NHS flu-jab campaign.

Those most at risk are people over 65, pregnant women and those with long-term health conditions such as asthma, chest or heart complaints, liver or kidney disease and diabetes.

“This summer I was lucky enough to be selected again to represent Team GB at the Paralympic Games,” said Dan.

“Being at greater risk of serious complications from flu, the flu jab for me is a must and helps to make sure I stay protected and I’m able to continue to be at the top of my game.”

Flu is a highly contagious infection that anyone can catch. But for the vulnerable groups it can be serious. Carers of those most at risk, as well as NHS front-line staff, are also advised to get the jab as a means of protecting themselves and others.

Vanessa MacGregor, a consultant in communicable disease control, said: “Flu is not just a cold — it can be a really serious illness for some people and it doesn’t just affect older people.

“You can get a free flu jab from your GP and get flu safe. The flu jab is completely safe, and it can’t give you flu.”

The flu vaccine changes every year in a bid to fight the latest strains so even if you had one last year you will need another this year to saty flu safe.

The jab does not contain the ‘live’ virus so it cannot give you the flu.

Vanessa added: “Flu can increase the risk of developing more serious illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and can make existing conditions much worse.

“In the most serious cases, seasonal flu might land you in hospital — it can even be a killer.”

From October to early November is the best time to get protected so contact your GP and make an appointment to get your jab today.