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Health view: Get vaccinated and stop the spread of flu

PUBLISHED: 08:00 04 November 2018

Mark Sepple

Cold weather can be seriously bad for your health, and that’s why it’s important to look after yourself.

As a local GP, I want to encourage all patients who are entitled to a free flu vaccine to make sure they get it as part of keeping healthy this winter.

Flu is a highly contagious viral infection and most common over the winter period. Anyone can catch flu and getting a flu jab or nasal spray is one of the most effective ways to reduce potential harm from the virus.

The vaccination is offered for free to those at increased risk from the effects of flu. This includes:

• children aged two to eight

• people aged 65 and over

• pregnant women

• people with long-term health conditions

• carers

• frontline health and social care workers

This year we’re encouraging more healthy children to get the vaccination to help prevent the virus spreading to other vulnerable people. Children aged two to three will be given the vaccination by their GP, and also children who are four years old provided they were three on August 31 2018. Children in reception class and school years 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 will be offered their vaccination in school.

The vaccine is given as a single spray squirted up each nostril. Not only is it needle-free – a big advantage for children – the nasal spray is quick, painless, and works even better than the injected flu vaccine.

To get your vaccine or find out if you are eligible, contact your GP, pharmacist or midwife. Visit nhs.uk/staywell.

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