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The clocks have gone back which means winter is on its way. And with winter comes flu. On average, flu kills around 8,000 people a year in England. Getting a flu vaccination is the single best way to protect yourself and others against the flu.
You can have your flu jab at your GP surgery or local pharmacy and for those who are most at risk of suffering serious consequences if they catch the flu, the vaccination is free – it‟s free because you need it.
Dr Andrew Girdher, a local GP who had the flu last year, is encouraging those who need the vaccination, to have it, saying, “For the first time last winter I felt what it was like to experience flu and having a flu jab is definitely on my list of “must dos‟ at the moment.
“Flu certainly knocked me for six – I had to take five days off work, the first time in 25 years, and I missed the surgery Christmas party. I‟m someone who is very fit and active but once I got sick, I was physically unable to get out of my house, even getting out of bed was a challenge.
“People owe it to themselves to get a flu jab before winter, to protect their own health, but also to protect the health of their family, work colleagues and friends from the debilitating effects of the flu.
“I also urge all patient-facing workers in health and social care to ensure they get a flu vaccination to reduce the risk to themselves and their patients this winter.”
People who are eligible for a free flu vaccination include: Adults aged 65 and over Adults aged 18-64 with long-term conditions such as COPD, bronchitis, emphysema, diabetes, heart, kidney or liver disease or those who have had a stroke Pregnant women Children aged 2-3 years Children in school years: reception, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Carers Health and social care workers.
Get your flu vaccination from your GP practice, or pharmacy before the end of November to help protect you and those around you this winter.
Flu is a highly infectious illness characterised by a fever, chills, headache, aching muscles and joint paint and fatigue. For most healthy people, flu symptoms can make you feel exhausted and unwell so that you have to stay in bed and rest until you get better.
If you think you may have the flu, stay at home and rest until you feel better. Call NHS 111 if you have an underlying health condition or feel really unwell.