Autumn is here and the nights are drawing in, so it’s really important we take the time to look after ourselves, and one of the best things we can do is get the flu jab.
NHS Birmingham CrossCity Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is reminding anyone over the age of 65 to protect themselves against flu this winter with a free vaccination.
It is the best possible protection against catching influenza, or flu, which tends to be at its highest levels during the autumn and winter months. Even if you’ve had the vaccination before, it’s important to get it again because the type of virus in circulation changes every year and so the vaccine changes too.
In winter 2013/14, over 9001 people nationwide were admitted to hospital with confirmed cases of flu and 10 per cent of all patients admitted died as a result of the flu virus.
Dr Barbara King, a GP in Northfield and Clinical Accountable Officer at the CCG said: said: “Flu is a really serious illness, particularly for those aged over 65 or if you have another medical condition. In both cases, you are much more likely to become seriously ill and develop complications like pneumonia.
“Flu tends to circulate between September and March. The flu vaccine is available from September, so I would urge anyone over age of 65 to visit their GP or pharmacy now.
“Contrary to what you might hear, it can’t give you flu or cold symptoms because it has no live virus in the vaccine.”
Look out for a letter from your GP telling you about the dates and times of their flu clinics.
For the first time this year, some pharmacies are offering free flu jabs for over 65’s and people in at-risk groups. You will have to check with your local pharmacy, but it’s another way of getting yourself protected, in a quick and convenient way.
If you care for someone over 65, it’s advisable to get vaccinated too, so that you can protect yourself and the person you care for. Make an appointment today; it’s free because you need it.
For more information visit www.nhs.uk/staywell