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Over 65s in east Kent urged to reduce flu risk with free vaccine

User AvatarPosted by Amanda Crawford at 25/11/2019 12:36:45

People over 65 in east Kent are being urged to get their flu vaccination this year. 

Flu is a highly infectious disease. The symptoms, that come on very quickly, include fever, chills, headaches, aches and pains in the joints and muscles, and extreme tiredness.

Serious flu infections, especially in those with underlying health conditions, although not common, can lead to hospitalisation, permanent disability and even death.

Dr Simon Lundy, deputy clinical chair of NHS Canterbury and Coastal Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “The flu virus strikes in winter and it can be far more serious than you think. Flu can lead to serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and it can be deadly.

“If you are over 65, it is important to make sure you get your free flu vaccination as soon as possible.  It will provide the best possible chance of not contracting the disease and potentially other more serious complications that could be fatal. Contact your GP or local pharmacy now, and make sure you are protected before flu starts to spread.

“You can also speak to your GP to see if you are eligible for the pneumococcal vaccine, which will help protect you from pneumococcal diseases such as pneumonia. Help us to help you.”

The best time to have a flu vaccine is in the autumn, from the beginning of October to the end of November.

Everyone over the age of 65, people with long-term health conditions, the main family carers of these people, and pregnant women can have the flu vaccine from their GP or local pharmacy for free. The risk of serious illness from flu and consequent hospitalisation and death is higher among people aged 65 and older as they are more likely to have an underlying health problem and the immune system does not work as well.

Visit the NHS flu vaccine website for more information.

Visit nhs.uk/staywell for more details on how to help you and your family to stay well this winter.