'At risk’ groups urged to have flu vaccine by Bradford Public Health DirectorBradford’s director of Public Health Anita Parkin is urging those eligible to receive a free winter flu vaccination to make sure they get it.
The season of flu vaccination has begun and GPs across the district are inviting people to have their flu jab. This includes inviting all people 65 years-old and over, those with long term health conditions, children aged 2 and 3 years and pregnant women to have the flu vaccine
People in the clinically ‘at risk’ groups are 11 times more likely to experience complications if they get the flu than a ‘healthy person’. This includes those suffering from heart, lung, liver, lung kidney or lung disease, diabetes, stroke or a lowered immune system.
Children aged 2-3 are also being asked to take a safe and effective nasal spray vaccine to protect themselves and help prevent the spread of flu to adults and other children.
Anita Parkin, Director of Public Health for Bradford Council says:
“It’s vital that everyone who receives a letter from their GP makes an appointment to have the quick and simple vaccination and not leave it to chance.
“It’s not just a cold. Flu is very contagious and can be a really serious illness. Having the flu vaccine doesn’t just protect you; it helps stop the flu spreading to other people who may be even more vulnerable than you.
Dr Rona Daniels, Screening and Immunisation Lead, NHS England, West Yorkshire, said:
“Even if you’ve already had a flu jab in previous years, you need another one this year. This is because the viruses that cause flu are always changing.
“I would particularly encourage older people, adults and children in at risk groups and mums-to-be to make sure they have their flu jab to protect themselves. For mums –to –be this protects themselves and their unborn babies as flu can lead to serious complications in pregnant women. National guidance states the vaccine is safe throughout pregnancy and can protect newborn babies up to about four to six months from birth.
“For most healthy people not in at risk groups, flu remains a mild illness and generally they will recover in a few days after getting lots of rest, drinking plenty of fluids and using over-the-counter remedies such as paracetamol.”
“You can also prevent the spread of the virus by always carrying a tissue and using them to catch coughs or sneezes, disposing of the tissue and then washing your hands.
“If you aren’t getting any better then stay at home and call your doctor or call 111 for non-urgent medical advice.”
If you haven’t received a letter or are a main carer of an older or disabled person you should contact your GP to check if you qualify.
The vaccine for young children is also now a safe and effective nasal spray rather than an injection.
Anyone not at risk can contact their local pharmacy to find out how they can receive the flu vaccination although a charge will apply.
For more information please contact Thomas Atcheson on 01274 432020 or email Thomas.firstname.lastname@example.org