GET VAC­CI­NATED

Woman's Weekly (UK) - - Health -

Vac­cines con­tain harm­less ver­sions of the bug you want to pro­tect your­self against so that your im­mune sys­tem can re­mem­ber them and act more quickly the next time it meets them.

Flu jab – if you’re 65 or over you can have it ev­ery win­ter free on the NHS. You are also el­i­gi­ble if you have a se­ri­ous long-term health con­di­tion, such as di­a­betes, heart fail­ure or Parkin­son’s, or you’re preg­nant or a health or so­cial care worker or a carer.

Shin­gles jab – avail­able on the NHS to peo­ple in

their 70s. Un­like the flu vac­cine, you only need it once and can have it any time of year. It re­duces your risk of catch­ing shin­gles or lessens the symp­toms if you do get it. Be­yond age 80 it’s less ef­fec­tive, so not avail­able on the NHS.

Pneumo jab – avail­able free on the NHS if you’re over 65 or if you’re high risk due to long-term health con­di­tions. It’s a single vac­ci­na­tion which works for life to help pro­tect against pneu­mo­coc­cal in­fec­tions, which that can lead to pneu­mo­nia,

sep­ti­caemia (blood poi­son­ing) and menin­gi­tis.

Travel jabs – which ones you need de­pend on the re­gions of the world you’re vis­it­ing. Some are free on the NHS, such as hep­ati­tis A, cholera and ty­phoid, and oth­ers, such as yel­low fever, are only avail­able pri­vately. Find out more from your GP surgery or by vis­it­ing

fit­for­travel.nhs.uk.

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