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Help us help you this winter by getting your flu vaccination - it’s free because you need it

Monday 4th November, 2019

Speak to your GP today about getting your flu jab

These groups are at particular risk from flu and vaccination is still the best protection we have against this unpredictable virus. That’s why the flu vaccine is free – because eligible groups really need it.

Underlying conditions

Flu is a highly infectious disease and can lead to serious complications if you have an underlying health condition such as:

  • COPD,
  • bronchitis,
  • emphysema,
  • diabetes,
  • heart disease,
  • kidney disease,
  • liver disease
  • a chronic neurological disease like multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy.

Flu on top of health conditions like these increases your chance of serious health complications and a hospital visit.

Adults aged 65 years and over

The flu vaccination continues to be available to adults aged 65 years old and over, who are more vulnerable and may suffer more than most people if they catch flu.

This season there are two vaccines available for those aged 65 years and over.

The first is the vaccine which was available last season (the trivalent ‘adjuvanted’ vaccine).

A second vaccine, which is manufactured using cells rather than eggs, is also being made available for the first time.

Both vaccines are considered equally suitable for this age group.

Children

Flu can be nasty for little children. Children also tend to be super-spreaders of flu, so if they get it they are likely to infect other vulnerable or older family members.

Children who get flu have the same symptoms as adults – including fever, chills, aching muscles, headache, stuffy nose, dry cough and sore throat. Some children develop a very high fever or complications of flu, such as bronchitis or pneumonia and may need hospital treatment.

The flu vaccine will help protect your child from flu and reduce the chance of it spreading on to others. For most children, the flu vaccine is not usually an injection, just a quick and easy nasal spray.

Children aged 2 and 3 (on 31 August 2019) receive the vaccine through their GP and all primary school aged children receive it in school. If you have a child who is of the eligible age, make sure you sign the consent form allowing them to have the flu vaccine at school.

Pregnant women

Pregnancy naturally weakens the body’s immune system and as a result flu can cause serious complications for women and their babies. One of the most common complications of flu is bronchitis, a chest infection that can become serious and develop into pneumonia.

If women have flu while they're pregnant, it could mean their baby is born prematurely or has a low birthweight which could even lead to stillbirth or death. Pregnant women may be less able to fight off infections, increasing the risk of becoming ill from flu.

The flu jab is the safest way to help protect pregnant women and their babies against flu, no matter how many months pregnant or how fit and healthy the woman may feel.

What to do

If you are eligible for the flu vaccine, get it now. Contact your general practice, pharmacist or midwife to get it.

Visit www.nhs.uk/fluvaccine for more information.
Information on flu is also available in easy read, audio and braille, BSL and large print formats on the PHE Campaign Resource Centre and nhs.uk/fluvaccine

How to contact the communications team

You can reach our communication team by:

  • Calling – 01903 707447
  • Emailing – contactus.coastal@nhs.net
  • Writing to – Communications Team, NHS Coastal West Sussex CCG, 1 The Causeway, Goring-by-Sea, West Sussex, BN12 6BT