As winter approaches, it’s time for those at greatest risk from flu to protect themselves and their loved ones.
Flu is a highly contagious infection that anyone can catch. While flu can be a short-lived illness for the majority of people who catch it, for some it can be much more serious. The best protection we have against flu is the flu vaccine. The flu vaccine changes every year to fight the latest strains of flu, so even if you had the vaccine last year you need another one this year to be protected.
Health leaders in St Helens are encouraging those who are at much greater risk of becoming seriously unwell if they catch flu, to get themselves protected by getting their free flu vaccine including people aged 65 and over, those who have a long term health condition, those with a weakened immune system, residents of long-stay care homes, carers and pregnant women. Those eligible should contact their GP, local pharmacist or midwife to get their flu vaccine.
A key focus of this year’s flu campaign is to encourage more children aged 2 and 3 to be ‘Flu Superheroes’ this winter and ‘fight those Flu Monsters away’ by having a FREE nasal spray from their GP to protect them against flu. Children in reception and school years 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 will also be offered the FREE flu nasal spray at school.
Dr Paul Rose, GP and NHS St Helens CCG Governing Body member, said: “I would urge everyone who is eligible to get the flu jab. The flu jab is completely safe, and it can’t give you flu. The sooner people have the jab the better.”
Sue Forster, Director of Public Health at St Helens Council said, “The most effective way to help protect yourself and your loved ones against flu is to get vaccinated. Young children can spread flu easily. If they catch it, they can easily pass it on to other family members. By protecting your young children, you’re also protecting the rest of your family. Please book your child in now at your GP for their free flu nasal spray.”
For more information, speak to your GP or local pharmacist, or visit www.nhs.uk/flu