As winter sets in, it’s time for those at greatest risk from flu to protect themselves and their families, and get flu safe with a free flu jab.
Flu is a highly contagious infection that anyone can catch, and it can be a really serious illness for some. Those at greater risk from flu include people aged 65 or over, pregnant women, and those with health conditions such as severe asthma, chest or heart complaints and diabetes.
These groups most at risk are being encouraged to get flu safe with a free flu jab from their GP and the NHS in England has launched the new Flu Safe campaign to remind people that they should get a flu jab.
Dr Fiona Day, public health consultant and flu lead at NHS Sheffield, 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. If you’re pregnant, have lowered immunity or a long term health condition such as severe asthma, a chest or heart complaint, or diabetes then you should get a free flu jab from your GP and get flu safe.
“The same goes for children too so if you’re the parent of a child with a long term condition then flu can make their condition worse so ask your GP about the flu vaccine - it’s completely safe, and it can’t give you flu.”
NHS Sheffield is encouraging everyone in the city who knows people who may be at risk from flu to tell them how important it is that they get protected. Those who are carers and frontline health and social care staff are also encouraged to get a free jab to protect themselves and those around them.
The flu vaccine changes every year to fight the latest strains of flu, so even if you had a jab last winter you need another one this year to stay flu safe. The jab doesn’t contain the ‘live’ virus so it cannot give you the flu.
Dr Day added: “Flu can increase the risk of developing more serious illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and can make existing conditions much worse. Flu can knock you off your feet and make it hard to look after the kids or go to work. In the most serious cases, seasonal flu might land you in hospital - it can even be a killer.
“If you’re in any of the ‘at risk’ groups, the flu jab is completely free and is a safe way of protecting you and your family in a matter of minutes.”
The best time to be vaccinated is at the start of the flu season from so it’s good to get in early and get flu safe in time for the winter.
Simply contact your GP to arrange a convenient appointment and get your jab. It’s quick, safe and free for those most at risk from the virus.
You can also get the flu jab from about 20 pharmacies across the city – click here to find out which ones they are.