‘It’s free because you need it’: Have you had your flu jab yet?

Health news.
Health news.

A vaccine that reduces the risk of death from flu by 80 per cent is being encouraged by local doctors.

Milton Keynes Council and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (MKCCG) are reminding people to get vaccinated against the flu to help them stay fit and healthy over the winter and to protect some of our most vulnerable residents.

Cllr Nigel Long, Portfolio Holder for Public Health at Milton Keynes Council added: “Last year 46,567 people registered with practices within Milton Keynes received a free flu vaccination, but another 35,995 who were eligible did not”.

“Much of the ill health caused by flu can be avoided by receiving the vaccine. The vaccine is safe and effective, and can reduce the chances of getting flu and its complications by 70%. It reduces the risk of death from flu by 80%.

“It’s free because you need it.”

Influenza commonly known as flu is a highly infectious viral illness which can lead to complications with hospital admissions and even death.

Symptoms of flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, body aches and fatigue.

Vulnerable populations are more susceptible to developing complications such as chest infections, infections of the tonsils, ears and sinuses, meningitis, and encephalitis (infection of the brain), which can be fatal.

Dr Nessan Carson from CMK Medical Centre said: “The flu vaccine stimulates your body’s immune system to make antibodies which attack the flu virus.

“It is really important that people have a flu vaccination to protect both themselves and others.”

The flu vaccine is available free to:

Those aged 65 years and over

Those aged six months to 65 years with a serious medical condition such as:

o Respiratory, Heart, Kidney, Liver or Neurological disease

o Diabetes

o Immunosuppression

o Absence or dysfunction of the spleen

Pregnant women

All two, three and four year olds (but not five years or older) on 31 August 2015

All children of school years 1 and 2

Those in long stay residential care or residential homes

Unpaid carers

If you belong to one of these groups; speak to your GP to book a vaccination appointment, or check with your local pharmacy as they may also provide free flu vaccination.

Click here for more information on the flu vaccination.