Get Winter Robust: why having a flu vaccination issues

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Regardless of the current scorching and sunny climate, winter is coming, and with it comes an elevated threat of catching flu.  Flu can go away many people feeling dreadful and laid up in mattress for days, however for sure teams, the consequences may be extra extreme and even life-threatening.

Who’s most in danger?

Individuals in older age teams, youngsters 2 to three years outdated, pregnant girls and people with sure well being situations are most vulnerable to getting critically in poor health with flu. However the excellent news is that they may help shield themselves by getting the flu vaccine.

Who’s eligible?

For those who’re susceptible to flu you need to make the most of the vaccine to maintain your self nicely and winter robust.

The next teams are eligible for a free flu vaccine:

  • All adults aged 65 and over
  • Anybody underneath 65 with sure well being situations like diabetes, coronary heart illness, some neurological illnesses, liver illness or a weakened immune system (as an example on account of being prescribed steroids or handled for most cancers)
  • All pregnant girls
  • Kids aged 2 to three years on 31 August 2023
  • All major faculty youngsters and secondary faculty aged youngsters in years 7 to 11
  • These residing in care properties
  • Sure carers
  • Frontline well being and social care staff

Find eligibility details on the NHS website.

Does the vaccine truly assist?

Final winter, getting vaccinated towards flu reduce the chance of being hospitalised by round:

  • 66 per cent in youngsters
  • 25 per cent in adults aged 65 years and older
  • 33 per cent in different adults with underlying well being situations

Can flu hurt youngsters?

Flu could be a very disagreeable sickness in youngsters, and  for some, flu can result in hospitalisation, and even dying in uncommon circumstances.

Final winter, over 10,000 youngsters had been hospitalised on account of flu, and plenty of of those might have been prevented by getting the vaccine.

Kids are supplied the vaccine within the type of a fast and painless nasal spray vaccine, so it couldn’t be simpler.

Most youngsters get it by way of their faculty, so mother and father ought to be sure that to signal and return the consent kind. For pre-schoolers, mother and father will likely be invited to convey their little one ahead within the coming weeks, or alternatively you’ll be able to contact your GP observe to make an appointment.

Does the vaccine shield youngsters towards flu?

In addition to serving to to provide youngsters safety towards flu, the vaccine additionally helps cease them passing it to aged relations resembling grandparents, who will likely be extra susceptible.

As a result of so many infections may be handed on in class, excessive vaccination uptake amongst youngsters may assist forestall the unfold of an infection within the wider group.

After vaccination, some youngsters might get delicate uncomfortable side effects like a runny nostril, however the vaccine can’t truly give them flu.

Ought to pregnant girls have a flu vaccination?

All pregnant girls are inspired to get vaccinated to guard themselves and their unborn infants. Being pregnant modifications how your physique fights infections just like the flu and catching it whereas pregnant will increase your threat and your child’s threat of issues which can lead to a keep in intensive care, and even dying.

The flu vaccine can be given safely to expectant mothers at any stage of pregnancy, even proper from the beginning. You may communicate to your GP observe, pharmacist or midwife now about reserving a flu jab appointment.

What about these with underlying well being situations?

People with sure underlying well being situations are eligible for a free flu vaccine. Circumstances that will make somebody eligible embrace these with:

  • Coronary heart or liver illness
  • Power respiratory illness
  • Diabetes
  • Immunosuppression (weakened immune system)
  • Some neurological situations (like Parkinson’s, motor neurone illness, a number of sclerosis (MS) or cerebral palsy)

A full list of who is eligible is on the market on the NHS web site.

When can I e-book?

The Nationwide Reserving system for flu vaccine will go stay in a few weeks however some GP practices are already inviting folks to attend. The vaccines are delivered within the autumn to offer safety earlier than an infection charges rise. Most eligible adults can get their flu vaccine at their GP observe or a neighborhood pharmacy now.

Even for those who had been vaccinated final yr, it is very important get your jab once more this flu season as a result of the viruses can change yr to yr and safety decreases over time.

One of the best defence is to get your vaccine earlier than the virus begins circulating. For those who’re eligible, please make the most of this preventative measure to maintain your self nicely and winter robust.

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