As winter beckons, NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is urging local people who are at risk of flu to book their appointments for a flu jab.
For most healthy people, flu is an unpleasant illness that usually lasts a week or so. However, older people, the very young, pregnant women and those with underlying disease are at particular risk of severe illness if they catch flu.
The best way for these groups to protect themselves and their families is by getting the flu jab. This year, those at risk groups are:
- Over 65’s
- Pregnant women
- At risk groups, which cover those with a long term condition (e.g. diabetes), those with a weakened immune system (e.g. cancer patients), heart disease, chronic respiratory disease, kidney disease, liver disease, chronic neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and people in long stay residential homes
- Health and social care workers
- Two and three year olds
This is the first year that young children aged two and three will be offered a nasal spray vaccine to protect them against flu. Young children’s close contact with each other means they are more likely to transmit the virus to other more vulnerable groups.
Dr John Caine, local GP and chair of NHS West Lancashire CCG, said: “Flu is something millions of us experience every year, but it can have serious consequences for those individuals at risk. I strongly urge those people at risk, such as over 65s and pregnant women, to get in touch with their local GP and make an appointment for their flu vaccination.
“We appreciate everyone is busy with their day to day lives, but a quick appointment to have your jab will not only protect you and your long term health, but also your family, colleagues and friends. For individuals in the at risk groups, this is vital – they need to take this seriously and act now.”