Protect yourself against flu with jab

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As the weather gets colder people are being encouraged to get a vaccination for flu.

Those at greater risk include people aged 65 or over, pregnant women, and those with health conditions such as severe asthma, chest or heart complaints and diabetes.

The NHS in Milton Keynes is encouraging everyone who knows anyone who may be at risk from flu to tell them how important it is that they get protected. People who are carers and frontline health and social care staff are also encouraged to get a free jab to protect themselves and those around them.

Dr Nicola Smith, chairman of NHS Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Flu is not like a cold – it can be a really serious illness for some people and it doesn’t just affect older people. If you’re pregnant, have lowered immunity or a long term health condition such as severe asthma, a chest or heart complaint, or diabetes, then you should also get a free flu jab from your GP and get flu safe. The flu jab is completely safe, and it can’t give you flu.

“Flu can increase the risk of developing more serious illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and can make existing conditions much worse. Flu can knock you off your feet and make it hard to look after the kids or go to work. In the most serious cases, seasonal flu might land you in hospital - it can even be a killer.”

Muriel Scott, interim Director of Public Health at Milton Keynes Council: “It’s important that you think about getting a flu vaccination. If you’re in any of the ’at risk’ groups the flu jab is completely free and is a safe way of protecting you and your family in a matter of minutes.

“The vaccination doesn’t contain the ‘live’ virus so it cannot give you the flu. And remember, the flu vaccine changes every year to fight the latest strains of flu, so even if you had a jab last winter you need another one this year to stay flu safe.”

To book simply call your GP practice to arrange a convenient appointment and get your jab. It’s quick, safe and free for those most at risk from the virus.

For more information, speak to your GP or local pharmacist, or visit www.nhs.uk/flu.