Flu vaccine can help keep most vulnerable patients safe

People in South Leeds who are vulnerable to infection and complications from flu are being urged to take up their free NHS flu vaccine from their GP practice or pharmacy ahead of the winter season.

Nurse NHS consultationAs in previous years, the adult flu vaccine is being offered for free to those in groups at particular risk:

  • Pregnant women
  • Those aged 65 or over
  • Those aged under 65 with long-term conditions such as asthma or lung disease, chronic heart disease, diabetes, chronic kidney conditions, chronic liver conditions, stroke, chronic neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease or motor neurone disease
  • Carers (those receiving a carer’s allowance, or who are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill)
  • children over the age of six months with a long-term health condition, all children aged two, three and four on 31 August 2016 – that is, born between 1 September 2011 and 31 August 2014
  • Children in school years one, two and three will also be offered the vaccine via the child’s school. For most children, the vaccine will be given as a spray in each nostril – a quick and painless procedure

Patients can either book an appointment with their GP practice to receive the jab, or see their local pharmacy. Getting the vaccine sooner rather than later not only helps prevent you catching the flu, it also helps prevent you spreading it to other people.

Dr Andy Harris, Clinical Chief Officer, NHS Leeds South and East Clinical Commissioning Group and GP at Shaftesbury Medical Centre, Leeds, said:

“Flu is not just an unpleasant illness: it can actually be very dangerous for young children, older people, those with long-term health problems and for pregnant women, who can be more vulnerable to developing complications. This can lead to people needing hospital treatment and in the worst cases, it can even be fatal.

“I would urge everyone in Leeds who is eligible for a free vaccination on the NHS to get vaccinated as soon as possible – it’s the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from catching flu. The simple way to get your vaccine is call your GP practice and make an appointment or pop in to your local pharmacy.”