Every year thousands of people suffer from flu and many people end up in hospital as a result. To try and avoid this, free flu vaccinations are offered to the most vulnerable groups of people in the community.
This year, as well as adults over 65, pregnant women, people with long-term health conditions including asthma and cardio issues, more children are being offered the vaccine.
The national campaign aims to help people prepare for winter and avoid having to visit hospital due to common winter illnesses.
As a parent myself, I know how children can be the ‘super spreaders’ of illnesses, but by vaccinating youngsters against flu, it will not only help stop them becoming ill, but also help stop them spreading the illness to their more vulnerable relatives.
Some school age children are being offered their vaccines at school, in a nasal spray form and I hope parents will take up the offer of vaccination.
Every year the NHS comes under increasing pressure from winter illnesses including the flu.
Vaccination is one of the best tools to prevent the spread of this illness, so it is good news that the vaccine is now free to more people than ever – with around 21 million now eligible – and I hope people will it take up if they are offered it. If you do not qualify for a free vaccination then you can still have the flu jab for a small fee at most local chemists.
To find out if you are eligible for a flu jab, get in touch with your GP, pharmacist or midwife.