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Under half of those at risk of serious illness getting free flu jab

Friday 13th December, 2019

People living with a long term health condition are being urged to protect themselves from becoming seriously ill this winter with a free flu jab, after less than half of them took up the offer last year.

The NHS says these people have a greater risk of becoming seriously ill from flu than the general population and just 49.1 per cent of them in West Sussex were protected from flu with the free vaccine last winter.

Flu is a highly infectious disease and can lead to serious health complications for those with an underlying condition such as COPD, bronchitis, emphysema, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease or a chronic neurological disease like multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy.

The flu vaccine is offered free to anyone with these serious long-term health conditions, as they are far more likely than a healthy adult to become very ill if the get the flu and could even be admitted to hospital with complications.

Those who live with someone who has a weakened immune system may also be advised to have a flu vaccine by their GP.

Dr Laura Hill, Senior Clinical Leader for NHS Coastal West Sussex CCG, said:

“Flu on top of long term health conditions increases your chance of serious health complications and can even result in hospital treatment.

“We are offering anyone with an underlying health condition a free flu jab as vaccination is the single best defence against what can be a very serious illness.”

Find out more about the flu vaccine at www.nhs.uk

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