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