At risk groups urged to get flu vaccination
Health bosses have urged patients who fall within risk groups to have a flu vaccination this winter.
Pregnant women, patients with long term conditions including heart disease, diabetes and respiratory problems and those aged 65 and above are all at risk of developing flu-related complications if they do not get their free vaccination.
Children aged two and three are also eligible for free protection with a nasal spray version.
Dr Sunil Hindocha, chief clinical officer at NHS Lincolnshire West CCG, encouraged people to find out if they are eligible for the jab.
He said: “The free flu vaccination is an important element of protecting vulnerable patients over the winter.
“It is important those who are eligible for the jab get it.
“Flu vaccination is the best protection that we have against an unpredicatable virus.
“It can cause unpleasant illness in children and severe illness and even death among those in the at risk groups.
“Studies have shown that although the vaccination doesn’t provide a 100 per cent guarantee you will be flu-free, if you do get it after a jab then it will be milder and shorter-lived than if you were not vaccinated.
“If patients in risk groups don’t have the flu vaccination, they are more likely to develop potentially serious complications of flu.
“These can include pneumonia so it really is important to have the vaccination if you are eligible.”
The injected flu vaccine is offered free on the NHS every year to adults over the age of 18 at risk of flu, including everyone aged 65 and over and pregnant women. Those with long term illnesses are also vaccinated.
Children aged six months to two years who are at risk of flu are also vaccinated.
The flu vaccine is also routinely given on the NHS as an annual nasal spray to children aged two and three. Children in reception class and school years one, two, three and four also get it.
It is also given to children up to the age of 17 who are at a particular risk of flu.
You can find out if you are eligible for a free flu jab by speaking with your GP or pharmacist.
The vaccination is available at your GP surgery, a local pharmacy if it is offering the service or some midwifery services.