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MELKSHAM’S GP surgeries have announced their plans for this year’s flu vaccinations – which they say are “more important than ever”.
This year, more people will be eligible for a free flu vaccine as part of the government’s “most comprehensive flu vaccination programme in UK history”, which they say will double the amount of vaccines administered from 15 million to 30 million people.
And with a possible second wave of coronavirus set to impact on health services, Public Health England says it is now “more important than ever” to receive the vaccination in order to avoid a double-hit to the NHS.
In Melksham, Giffords Surgery and Spa Medical Centre will both be offering free flu vaccines to eligible patients and are encouraging patients to book now.
Gompels in the town centre will also be offering flu vaccines with the key message “Get the flu jab to protect you, your family and the NHS”
Giffords Surgery has set up a designated telephone line for flu vaccine appointments. And Spa Medical Centre has announced plans for a ‘drive-through model’ at Melksham Football & Rugby Club.
A spokesperson from Giffords Surgery said, “This year it is more important than ever to protect yourself against flu. Having a flu vaccine is the best protection you can give yourself against an unpredictable virus that can cause unpleasant illness in children, older people (over 65s), pregnant women, carers, and people with an underlying health condition which may sit in the 18-64 years age group.
“From 1st September Giffords Surgery will have a designated telephone line for you to call and book your 2020 flu vaccine appointment. The line will be open from 1pm-8pm Monday to Thursday; and 1pm to 6.45pm on Fridays. Please telephone our flu line 01225 896650 to make your appointment.
“We are expecting a high volume of calls for appointments and would recommend that you contact us and book your appointment as soon as you can. To determine whether you qualify for a free flu vaccination at the surgery, please see our website for details: www. giffordssurgery.co.uk.”
A spokesperson for Spa Medical Centre said, “Eligible patients can now book their annual flu vaccination. If you are in one of the eligible groups listed below, please book online (if you are registered for online services) or telephone us on 01225 898008 after 3.00pm to book an appointment.
The eligible groups are: Patients aged 65 years or over; Patients with diabetes, asthma (requiring inhaled or oral steroid therapy) COPD, chronic kidney or liver disease; Patients who have chronic heart disease or who have suffered a stroke/TIA; Patients who are immunosuppressed; Registered carers; Patients with learning disabilities; Patients with chronic neurological conditions; Patients with a BMI of 40 or over; Patients on the shielding list and household contacts.
“If you are unsure if you are eligible for a flu vaccination please ask before booking an appointment.
“We will be running a drive though model this year from Melksham Football & Rugby Club on: Thursday 17th September – over 65s only; Thursday 1st October – over 65s and over 18s in the eligible groups above; Thursday 21st October – over 65s and over 18s in the eligible groups above. Sessions will run between 9am – 4pm.”