Don’t miss the point - if you’re offered a free flu jab then roll up your sleeve, say Herts health chiefs
- Credit: Archant
If you have been offered a flu jab, make sure you have it, say Herts County Council’s public health team.
For most people flu is unpleasant but usually clears up in a week or so - but for some in higher risk groups it can cause much more serious health problems and the best way to protect yourself is by getting vaccinated.
You are at more risk if you are over 65, pregnant, very young (two, three or four years old), or have an existing health condition like severe asthma, chest or heart complaints or diabetes.
If you fall into one of these groups you are entitled to free flu protection from your GP. It is also important to get the jab if you come into contact with vulnerable people on a regular basis. This year schoolchildren will get the flu jab from their school nurse if they are in Years 1 and 2.
The free flu vaccinations are safe, quick and, contrary to what many people think, do not give you flu. The vaccinations for young children are given via a pain-free nasal spray, so there’s no need for little ones or parents/carers to worry about needles.
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Teresa Heritage, County Hall’s cabinet member for public health, said: “Flu isn’t just a cold, it can be a really serious illness for some people.
“We wants residents to have the opportunity to live the healthiest lives possible so if you are one of the risk groups I’d urge you to go and get vaccinated. It’s the best way of keeping yourself and those close to you flu safe over the winter months.
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“The best time to get vaccinated is at the start of the flu season from October to early November, so get in early. If you think you might be at risk, get in touch with your GP or your practice nurse or midwife.”
If you don’t fall into one of the at risk groups but want a flu jab, they are available at many local supermarkets and pharmacies for a small fee.
For much more information about flu, go to www.nhs.uk/staywell
For more about staying healthy visit www.hertsdirect.org/healthinherts