When:



  •  and 

Type of content:

Category:

03 December 2018

People with long-term health conditions urged to have free flu vaccine

Cumbria County Council and local NHS partners are reminding people with long-term health conditions that flu increases their chance of serious health complications and a hospital visit and getting vaccinated is the best protection. The flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to people who are most at risk, including:

  • those aged 65 years and over
  • pregnant women
  • people who have certain medical conditions 
  • people living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility 
  • those who receive a carer's allowance, or are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill 

Colin Cox, Cumbria County Council’s Director of Public Health, said:

“The cold weather that winter brings can make people more likely to catch a winter illness that could become very serious.

"If you start to feel unwell, at the first signs of winter illness, get advice from your pharmacist before it gets more serious.

“For people with underlying or long-term health conditions, for example those with respiratory and cardiovascular conditions, we would advise getting the free flu vaccination now by contacting their GP practice or pharmacist.”

Flu is a highly infectious disease and can lead to serious complications for people with underlying health conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchitis, emphysema, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease or a chronic neurological disease like multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy.

Across England and Wales an average of 8,000 deaths occur annually due to flu related complications. Of these deaths, it is estimated that around 2,500 are people with a heart disease and 3,500 people with a respiratory disease.

Dr David Rogers, Medical Director at NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group said:

“We are encouraging people who are eligible to take a moment to plan when they can have the jab. Even if you had your jab last year, you will need to have one again, because flu changes every year. 

“The flu jab is a simple procedure which could ultimately save lives. Don’t wait until there is a flu outbreak this winter; get your vaccination as soon as possible, especially if you are in an ‘at risk’ category. 

“Real flu can be debilitating and if you are already living with a condition, you are either very young or very old it can hit you harder. 

“All NHS staff are encouraged to get the vaccination which will also help to protect patients, colleagues and their families.”

This year, Public Health England are providing a ‘quadrivalent’ vaccine, which offers protection against four strains of flu, to those aged 18-64 with underlying health conditions. For people aged 65 and over, a more effective ‘adjuvanted’ vaccine will be offered which helps their immune systems develop protection against flu.

The most common symptoms of flu are fever, chills, headache, aches and pains in the joints and muscles, and extreme tiredness. Healthy individuals usually recover within two to seven days, but for some the disease can lead to hospitalisation, permanent disability or even death.

People who are eligible for the flu vaccine, should get it now by contacting their general practice, pharmacist or midwife. Visit nhs.uk/staywell for more information.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9I_KdrARaI0


Categories:
Tags:
Cumbria County Council and local NHS partners are reminding people with long-term health conditions that flu increases their chance of serious health complications and a hospital visit and getting vaccinated is the best protection.