We’re flu fighters!

16 Dec 2015 Charlotte.titheridge

As the colder months approach, the risk of getting ill from influenza (‘flu’) increases.

For most people, flu is an unpleasant illness, usually lasting about a week, but for some it can lead to more serious illness such as chest infections, severe complications and even death. Worldwide, flu epidemics are estimated to result in around 3 to 5 million cases of severe illness a year, and between 250 to 500 thousand deaths (Source: World Health Organisation 2014).

There’s no such thing as natural immunity to flu, and with new strains circulating every year, it’s best to get vaccinated if you’re considered ‘at risk’. We offer the flu vaccine free of charge to every member of our staff, to ensure that as many of our staff and patients are protected from flu as possible. Last year, 50% of our staff had the vaccine, and this year we’re working to encourage even more. By vaccinating our staff, we’re helping to reduce the spread of flu to our patients. Who is considered at risk?

Certain people are considered more ‘at risk’ of flu, and are offered the flu jab for free at their local GP surgery or pharmacy. For the first time, children under the age of 5 (particularly those under 2) are also being offered the vaccine. If you: are 65 years of age or over; are pregnant; have certain medical conditions; are very overweight; live in a residential care home; or are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person, you may be eligible. You can protect yourself and your family by having the flu vaccination.

Did you know? The flu vaccine does not include live viruses so it’s
impossible to catch the flu from the vaccine!

To find out more about the flu, visit the NHS website: www.nhs.uk