WARRINGTON residents under the age of 65 with underlying, long-term health conditions are able to access a free annual flu jab.
Conditions such as COPD, bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, diabetes, heart, kidney or liver disease, neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis (MS) and weakened immune systems are at greater risk of flu developing into something more serious that could land you in hospital.
Other ‘at risk’ groups of people are entitled to receive a free flu jab, including:
· Pregnant women
· People over 65 years of age
· Patients undergoing treatment that affects their immune system, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy
· People who are overweight with a BMI of 40 or over
In particular, parents and guardians are urged to get young children vaccinated and take advantage of the flu vaccines given at primary schools. Young children are at a higher risk of contracting the illness and it having more serious effects than in healthy adults. Children are able to receive the vaccine through a painless nasal spray, rather than an injection.
Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, cabinet member for housing, public health and wellbeing, said: “Flu is an illness that can really knock you off your feet, and for people who are already vulnerable it can be very serious indeed. That’s why it’s really important that people in vulnerable groups get the vaccine.
“We urge anyone who is in a priority group with one of the listed pre-existing medical conditions to take advantage of the free flu jabs and parents of young children to make sure they take up the offer for their children. Flu jabs are free for these people because they are vital to their health.”
The best way to fight flu is by getting vaccinated before becoming unwell. You can receive your free flu jab from your GP and most community pharmacies.
If you think you have flu, stay home and rest until you feel better. Call NHS 111 for advice if you have an underlying health condition or feel very unwell.
You can find out more about the vaccine on the NHS website at.