If you fall into one of the ‘at risk’ categories for flu, then now is the time to take up the offer of a free vaccination.
Knowsley Council’s Public Health team is appealing to all the vulnerable groups to protect themselves this winter by getting vaccinated.
‘At risk’ groups, who receive free vaccinations, are people aged 65 years or over, pregnant women, people with long-term medical conditions including heart disease, diabetes, severe asthma, bronchitis, liver and kidney disease and those who are morbidly obese (defined as BMI of 40 and above).
A nasal spray vaccine is offered to two and three year old children and under-16s in ‘at risk’ groups. Children in reception class and school years 1, 2, 3 and 4 also receive this spray in school in a bid to slow down the spread of the virus.
Free vaccines are also offered to people with weakened immune systems and their household contacts, people living in long stay residential care homes and people who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an older or disabled person.
Cllr Shelley Powell, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, Wellbeing and Customer Services, (pictured having a flu jab), said:
“For the majority of people, flu is an unpleasant, but not life-threatening illness. However, it can be very serious for older people and those groups at risk of developing complications.
“They include those with weakened immune systems as well as underlying conditions such as neurological disorders, liver, lung or renal disease, heart problems or diabetes and pregnant women.
“Vaccination remains the best way to protect against the potential serious harm from flu this winter. I urge everyone entitled to a free vaccination, to take up the offer – especially people in at-risk groups and the parents of young children who qualify.
“Don’t wait until there is a flu outbreak this winter: Contact your GP practice now to get your seasonal flu vaccination early and remember even if you had a vaccination last winter you need another one this year to stay safe from flu.”
Simply contact your GP to arrange a convenient appointment and get you or your child vaccinated. For more information about flu vaccinations visit the NHS website.