NHS urges people with health conditions to book flu vaccine

Morgan receiving his flu vaccination at school.

Morgan receiving his flu vaccination at school. - Credit: Archant

People with health conditions in North Somerset are being urged to take up their free flu vaccines.

Evidence shows people who catch flu and Covid at the same time are more likely to need hospitalisation or die.

With Covid infections on the rise, the NHS is urging people to protect themselves this winter.

Flu is a highly infectious disease and can lead to serious complications in people of all ages, particularly for those who have underlying health conditions such as bronchitis, emphysema, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, immunosuppression or a chronic neurological disease – like multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy – or severe learning disabilities.

Dr Julie Yates, lead consultant for NHS England and Improvement and Public Health England added: “We know that people with some health conditions are at greater risk of complications if they catch flu and the consequences can be much more serious for them.

“If you have diabetes, a long term respiratory, heart, kidney, liver or neurological condition, are immunosuppressed, morbidly obese, have problems with your spleen, or a learning disability you are more likely to experience serious complications from flu and have an increased risk.

“It’s more important than ever this year that you contact your GP or local pharmacy and make time for an appointment to have your free vaccination to protect yourself this winter.”

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Anyone with these health conditions is encouraged to have a flu vaccination as soon as possible.

If you are not sure if you are eligible, you can contact your GP or pharmacist.

This year, the programme has been expanded and the free flu vaccine will be offered to a record 30 million people to help protect as many as possible from the virus and to ease pressure on the NHS and urgent care services.

Everyone eligible should receive additional direct reminders prompting them to book their appointment.

Groups being given the free vaccine include patients with eligible health conditions, pregnant women, anyone over 65 and children aged two-three (by booking with the GP), school age children from reception to year seven will receive their vaccination at school.

Free vaccines are also being rolled out to household contacts of those on the NHS Shielded Patient List and health and social care workers.