‘Help us help you by having the flu jab if eligible’
Dr Sunil Hindocha, chief clinical officer at NHS Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group, talks about the importance of the free flu vaccination and how it can help stop the spread of flu this winter….
It is that time of year again. The weather is turning wintry, children are coming home from school with coughs, colds and sniffles and Christmas is being mentioned more frequently.
I know it is only October, but we all need to start thinking about winter and how we can keep ourselves healthy.
One of those ways, as I am sure you are already aware, is the free flu vaccination.
The annual flu jab campaign has been launched in the county. I would urge everyone to check if they are able to have the free vaccination.
It is the simplest and easiest way to protect yourself against flu this winter and is available for free on the NHS for a number of different groups.
These include people aged 65 or over, pregnant women, carers and people aged under 65 with a long term condition such as diabetes or heart disease.
The flu vaccination is quick and easy to have. Those who qualify for the free jab should contact their GP practice to make an appointment to have it.
Practices will be running flu clinics and will be able to tell you when you can have the jab.
More than a cold
It is important to remember that getting the flu is not just getting a cold. It can seriously affect your health and the risk of developing complications is greater for people within the ‘at-risk’ groups.
Healthy individuals can usually recover within a week. For some it can lead to a stay in hospital, permanent disability or even death.
It can also be serious for young children, who can be protected from flu with a simple nasal spray. It is free, fast and painless.
The more people who choose to have the free vaccination, the less likely it is for flu to spread.
Getting vaccinated will not only help protect you, but it may help stop the spread of flu more widely.
To find out if you are eligible for a free flu vaccination and to arrange an appointment, contact your GP surgery or local pharmacy today.
If you aren’t eligible for the free flu vaccination, then please make sure you are well prepared at home. Do this by stocking up your medicine cabinet with over the counter medication.
It may also be useful to download our new app, ASAP Lincs NHS. Should you fall ill over the winter, it will help you find the most appropriate treatment for your needs.
This will, hopefully, help you get better as quickly as possible and keep you away from places such as Accident & Emergency if you don’t need to be there.