Health chiefs are urging people in Gedling borough to have a flu vaccine and help ease pressure on the NHS this winter.
NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire CCG is urging the public to have the vaccine for flu if they are eligible as it will reduce the risk of catching and spreading the virus over the winter months.
The CCG said flu can cause severe illness and even death among vulnerable groups, as well as complications like bronchitis and pneumonia.
The vaccine is available free of charge on the NHS, if you:
- Are 65 years or over
- Are pregnant
- Have certain medical conditions
- Are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay facility
- Receive a carer’s allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
- Live with someone who’s at risk of coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list) or you expect to be with them on most days over winter
Later this year, the flu vaccine may also be given to 50-64 year olds but people in this age group will not be vaccinated until November and December, providing there is sufficient vaccines, and no appointments will be offered for this age group until then.
The CCG said this is to ensure that those who are most at risk are vaccinated first.
However, if you are 50-64, and have certain medical conditions, you will be invited for your flu vaccine sooner.
The flu vaccine is also available for children:
- Over the age of 6 months with a long-term health condition;
- Aged 2 and 3 years on 31 August 2020 (i.e. born between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2018);
- In primary school;
- In year 7 (secondary school)
Dr Stephen Shortt, joint clinical leader at the NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire CCG, said: “It may seem early to be thinking about flu but the sooner we can get vaccinated, the more protected the population will be this winter.
“Due to the Coronavirus pandemic we have seen unprecedented changes to the NHS. By getting vaccinated we will be making sure that we keep these services available throughout what is set to be a busy winter period.
“We particularly want to encourage over 65s, pregnant women, those with certain medical conditions, carers and those who have been shielding to get the vaccine. I would urge all people who fit into the key groups to think about being vaccinated this year, it could save lives and maintain key services.”
More information on who is eligible for the flu vaccine is available here nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/who-should-have-flu-vaccine