The annual flu vaccination campaign has been launched in Oxfordshire and people are being invited to get their vaccination against the virus.
A flu vaccine is available for free on the NHS for the following:
- Patients aged from six months to 65 years in clinical ‘at risk’ groups (see below)*
- People aged 65 years and over
- Pregnant women
- All children aged two to nine (but not 10 years or older) on 31 August 2018
- People in long-stay residential care homes
*At risk conditions:
The free flu vaccine is available to patients who have one of the following conditions: a heart problem, a chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including bronchitis, emphysema or severe asthma, kidney disease, lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (such as steroid medication or cancer treatment), liver disease, had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA), diabetes, neurological condition e.g. multiple sclerosis (MS), morbid obesity (BMI over 40), cerebral palsy or learning disability.
Dr Edward Capo-Bianco, Clinical Locality Director at Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “People aged over 65, pregnant women and people aged under 65 with a long term condition such as diabetes or heart disease will be invited to attend flu clinics at their GP surgery to get a free NHS flu vaccination. It is quick and easy to have and is the best form of protection for them and others.
“The flu is not the same as getting a cold. It can seriously affect your health and the risks of developing complications are greater for people within the ‘at-risk’ groups. Healthy individuals usually recover within two to seven days, but for some the disease can lead to a stay in hospital, permanent disability or even death.”
Ed added: “Flu can be serious for young children, help protect them from flu with one simple nasal spray. It is free, fast and painless. Children are also super-spreaders of the flu, by vaccinating them we can reduce the risk of transmission to the frail and at risk groups.”