People supported to Stay Well this Winter with free flu vaccination
As a major campaign launches to help keep people safe this winter, eligible people are being encouraged to get a free flu vaccination to help prevent serious illness.
Wiltshire Council and NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group are supporting Public Health England’s Stay Well this Winter campaign, which launches today (October 12), and aims to ensure people who are most at risk from suffering ill-health this winter get the support they need to prevent them becoming poorly.
To help with this, all GPs throughout the county are offering free flu vaccinations to:
- all two, three or four year olds, i.e. born between 1 September 2011 and 31 August 2014
- those aged six months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups
- pregnant women
- those aged 65 years and over
- those in long-stay residential care homes
In addition to this, if they prefer, eligible adults can access their free vaccination at many pharmacies and this year, for the first time in Wiltshire (not including Swindon), all children in school years 1, 2 and 3, i.e. born between 1 September 2008 and 31 August 2011, will be able to access the immunisation directly at their school.
As there are many different flu strains which change each year, even if people had the vaccination last year they should still take up this year’s offer and protect themselves again from the virus.
Flu is not the same as the common cold. It is caused by a different group of viruses and often tends to start quicker, is more severe and lasts longer. Some people are more susceptible to the effects of flu and for them, it can increase the risk of developing more serious illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia, or can make existing conditions worse. In the worst cases, flu can result in a stay in hospital, or even death.
For advice and information about the flu vaccination, people should speak to their GP, practise nurse or pharmacist. For more information people should also visit www.wiltshire.gov.uk or www.wiltshireccg.co.uk.