Hundreds of thousands of people across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are being invited for a potentially lifesaving flu vaccination over the coming months.
In the biggest flu programme ever, GP surgeries, health visitors, pharmacists and other health professionals are getting ready to deliver flu vaccines differently this year to make sure those most at risk are protected, kept safe with socially distanced flu clinics.
Healthy people usually recover within two to seven days. But, there are certain groups for whom flu can have much more serious complications. This is why the NHS gives free flu vaccinations to:
- all children in school years 1-7
- pregnant women
- those aged 65 years and over
- people with long-term health conditions
- those who shielded from Coronavirus and members of their household
- Health & care staff, employed by a registered residential/nursing home or registered domiciliary care provider, who are directly involved in the care of vulnerable patients/clients who are at increased risk from exposure to influenza
Dr Shammy Noor, GP in Lichfield and chair of South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula CCG: “Flu is an unpredictable, highly infectious disease which can produce fever, chills, aches and pains, muscle aches and in very bad cases especially in certain individuals it can be fatal.”
Stoke GP and clinical chair of Stoke-on-Trent CCG, Dr Lorna Clarson, said: “Having flu is much worse than having a heavy cold and it can be fatal, particularly to the more vulnerable members of society such as older people and people who have long-term conditions.”
Dr Paddy Hannigan, GP in Stafford and chair of Stafford and Surrounds CCG, said: “Vaccination is the best defense against the virus that causes flu infections.
“The virus changes every year, so the vaccine needs to be given each year.”
This year those going for vaccination can help by arriving at the right time for their appointment, not too early and not too late. Wearing short sleeves will also help keep the flu clinics moving whilst following social distancing advice.
Those eligible will be contacted by their GP surgery and will be invited to go for a vaccine, you can also get vaccinated at local pharmacies who are offering the NHS vaccination service.