By Tarvin Webteam - 9th October 2013 6:30am
After the warm days of summer there are plenty of signs that autumn is coming, darker evenings, falling leaves and Christmas cards of sale in the shops! This means that it is time to think about protecting yourself from the possible ravages of influenza this winter by getting a flu jab.
Although flu poses no life-threatening risk to the healthy and fit, it can be a serious illness to the elderly and those who have an existing medical condition. Therefore the following groups can receive the flu jab from their GP free through the NHS:
- Over 65 year olds
- Pregnant women
- Children and adults who have chronic medical conditions or compromised immune systems
You should also have the flu jab if you are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill with influenza.
A nasal spray vaccine is available to children between 2 and 18 with certain medical conditions and to healthy 2 -3 year olds.
You may well say "if I do not fall into any of these categories, why should I bother and pay for a jab?"
Tarvin Pharmacist Ian Littler said "Flu is highly contagious, spread through coughs and sneezes and you can spread the disease even if you don't have it yourself. A dose of flu can leave you in bed for a week and can take another week to recover from, seriously affecting both home and work life. Also, the more people who are vaccinated the easier it is to stop an epidemic in its tracks. This is called 'herd immunity' and helps keep everyone safer."
Mr. Littler also wanted to stress that good hand hygiene, washing hands after coughing and sneezing, was also very important in cutting down the risks of spreading the illness.
A yearly flu jab is needed because the flu virus is a crafty organism that mutates easily. The World Health Organisation studies the evidence of flu from across the world before deciding on which strains are most likely to be dominant in a given season.
The easiest way to get a flu jab if you are not eligible for one on the NHS is to go and see your pharmacist. Children accompanied by their guardians can also receive the vaccine at the pharmacy. The vaccination costs £11 and no appointment is needed.
For more information contact
Ian Littler directly, your GP direct or Dr Campbell and Partners- Flu Vaccination clinics are getting filled up quickly!
For for general advice on this and all health matters go on the NHS website