For most healthy people, flu is an unpleasant experience, but for some people it can be really serious – causing complications such as bronchitis, pneumonia and in some cases even death. Getting the flu jab now is the safest way to stay protected and flu free this winter.
Groups that are most at risk of developing serious complications as a result of flu include:
- Those aged 65 or over.
- Pregnant women.
- People with a long term condition such as a heart problem, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, a chest complaint or breathing difficulties including bronchitis or emphysema.
- People with a weakened immune system – for example patients taking steroids or undergoing treatment for cancer.
- All children aged between two and four years old.
- Carers for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill and healthcare workers in direct contact with patients.
All GP surgeries in the borough offer the seasonal flu jab free of charge to people who are at risk to make sure that they are protected against catching flu and developing serious complications. The vaccine is updated every year to combat the latest flu strains, so even if you had the jab last year, you will need it again this year.
Dr Mo Abedi, Chair of Enfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and a local GP, said:
“If you are part of any of the groups identified as being at risk of developing flu, then you should get a flu jab from your GP surgery. It’s completely safe, it’s free, and it can’t give you flu. For children, the vaccine can also be delivered via a nasal spray, eliminating the need for injections.
“If you're pregnant, you're advised to have the injectable flu vaccine, regardless of the stage of pregnancy you've reached. The vaccine doesn't carry any risks for you or your baby. The jab will reduce the risk of pregnancy complications as a result of flu and will also help to give your baby protection for the first few months of their life.
“Remember, flu has the potential to be really serious. Getting your jab now can help to reduce the risk of you ending up serious ill or in hospital. That’s why it’s so important that people at risk make an appointment with their GP now to get their vaccination.”
For further information, please visit www.nhs.uk/flu2014.