Don’t be left out in the cold


PEO­PLE in Rochdale are be­ing urged to get the free flu vac­cine to pro­tect them­selves against the dis­ease this win­ter.

Dr Chris Duffy, the chair of NHS Hey­wood, Mid­dle­ton and Rochdale Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Group (HMR CCG), said: “Peo­ple can un­der­es­ti­mate the se­ri­ous­ness of flu and don’t take ad­van­tage of the free flu jab.

“If you are in an at risk group it is vi­tal you have your vac­cine.”

The flu vac­cine is avail­able free of charge to peo­ple deemed ‘at risk’.

This means those who are at risk of de­vel­op­ing se­vere com­pli­ca­tions such as bron­chi­tis or pneu­mo­nia, or who have an ex­ist­ing con­di­tion which could worsen or even re­sult in death if they catch flu. In peo­ple with an un­der­ly­ing health con­di­tion such as long-term heart or res­pi­ra­tory dis­ease or those who have a weak­ened im­mune sys­tem, flu can be po­ten­tially life-threat­en­ing.

Peo­ple aged 65 years and over, those aged six months to un­der 65 in clin­i­cal risk groups, preg­nant women and those liv­ing in a res­i­den­tial or nurs­ing home are classed as ‘at risk’ and can get the flu jab for free.

Also el­i­gi­ble for the vac­ci­na­tion are peo­ple who are the main carer for an older or dis­abled per­son, chil­dren aged two to three and those in re­cep­tion and school years 1 to 5 (up to those in Year 5 for the first time), plus peo­ple with learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties and those who care for them. Those liv­ing or work­ing with peo­ple in an ‘at risk’ group are also ad­vised to get them­selves vac­ci­nated.

Coun Sara Row­botham, Rochdale coun­cil’s cabi­net mem­ber for health and well­be­ing, said: “Catch­ing flu can be un­pleas­ant and for some peo­ple it can even be lifethreat­en­ing, so the best way to pro­tect your­self is to get the vac­ci­na­tion.

“I urge every­one to book their jabs as soon as pos­si­ble and help our bor­ough to stay healthy this win­ter.”

Dr Duffy added: “You can make an ap­point­ment with your GP prac­tice or at your lo­cal phar­macy, so book your­self in now.”

Any­one who is in an ‘at risk’ cat­e­gory and there­fore el­i­gi­ble for the free flu vac­ci­na­tion this win­ter should con­tact their GP, phar­ma­cist of mid­wife to book an ap­point­ment.

‘If you’re at risk it is a vi­tal jab’

●»Book an ap­point­ment for the flu jab

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