People living in south Bristol are being reminded by their local MP to get a flu vaccine to help them through the winter.
Over half of Bristol residents considered ‘at-risk’ (53 per cent) and 28% of people over the age of 65 in were not vaccinated against flu last year, even though the consequences of not having a flu vaccine can be serious.
Karin Smyth MP wants encourage her constituents to get this season’s flu vaccine in line with Government recommendations.
Scroll down to see who can get a free flu jab
She said “The flu vaccine is the most effective way to help protect yourself against the flu and I would urge everyone who is entitled to a free flu vaccine to take advantage, by visiting their GP or pharmacist as soon as possible.”
Helen Donovan, Professional Lead for Public Health Nursing at the Royal College of Nursing said “People in certain groups, such as pregnant women, people who are immunosuppressed and people with an underlying health condition such as liver disease and heart disease, are at significantly increased risk of severe complications and dying as a result of flu.”
Every year, an estimated 12,000 people die from seasonal influenza in England and Wales. Flu is the most frequent cause of death in pregnancy and very occasionally a child may die from flu.
Who is eligible for a free flu vaccine?
In 2016/17 the following individuals are entitled to a free flu vaccine:
• All children aged 2-7 (but not 8 years or older) on 31 August 2016
• All primary school-aged children in former primary school pilot areas
• Those aged 6 months to under 65 years in a clinical risk group, such as:
-Chronic respiratory disease, such as severe asthma
-Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchitis
-Chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
-Chronic kidney disease at stage three, four or five
-Chronic liver disease
-Chronic neurological disease, such as Parkinson’s disease or motor neurone disease
-A weakened immune system due to disease (such as HIV/AIDS) or treatment (such as cancer treatment)
• Pregnant women
• Those aged 65 years and over
• Those in long-stay residential care homes
• Frontline health and social care workers