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It’s not too late for the flu jab

Published 18/01/2016

NHS England is reminding people it’s not too late to get a free flu jab if they’re in an ‘at risk’ group.

Figures released by Public Health England show that there were 74 outbreaks of flu reported in England in the first week of January alone1 indicting it’s at its highest level for three years.

Having the flu jab is the best way to protect yourself from flu. 

 It’s offered free to those over 65; pregnant women; those with long term  conditions and those that care for them.  Children between the ages of two and four have also been offered the vaccination.

Dr Ken Deacon, Medical Director for NHS England in Derbyshire, explains why it is recommended that those in ‘at risk’ groups have the flu jab: “The flu virus is really nasty.  It’s not like a common cold that you can normally shake off on a few days. 

And when those identified as being in an ‘at risk group’ contract flu they could develop further complications and take longer to recover.  In some instances it can be life threatening.

“We know from what GP practices have told us that not enough people with long term conditions such as heart or lung problems, diabetes or who have their immune systems compromised have had the flu jab.  It’s the same for pregnant women where it offers protection to both mum-to-be and their unborn baby.

“If you are in one of these groups, or know someone in one of these groups, please encourage them to have the vaccination now that the virus is circulating.”

If you think you’re eligible for the free jab contact your GP practice to see if they’re still offering it, if not most pharmacies will give you the injection and let your GP practice know you’ve had it.

Carers who receive the Carer’s Allowance can also ask for a free flu jab.

For more information on staying well this winter visit www.nhs.uk/staywell

Last Modified 16/02/2016