Stevenage MP urges people to get their flu jabs as Australian bug hits Herts

PUBLISHED: 10:58 09 January 2018 | UPDATED: 11:45 09 January 2018

Stephen McPartland getting his flu vaccination at Bedwell pharmacy. Picture: Stephen McPartland

Stephen McPartland getting his flu vaccination at Bedwell pharmacy. Picture: Stephen McPartland

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Australian flu is hitting the UK with some commentators saying it's set to be the worst outbreak in 50 years. With symptoms including fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, sore throat, difficulty sleeping and headaches, the virus is one of the reasons our hospitals are so incredibly stretched.

Staff at Bedwell Pharmacy with Stevenage MP Stephen McPartlandStaff at Bedwell Pharmacy with Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland

Public Health England says 82 people out of every 1,000 reported flu-like symptoms for the last week of 2017.

24 people are thought to have died from the illness in the past week alone and there has been a huge spike in people - mainly elderly - being admitted to hospital.

To help combat the illness, Stevenage MP. Stephen McPartland is urging people to get their free flu jab.

Stephen had his flu jab recently, at Bedwell Pharmacy in Stevenage, and is keen that as many people as possible are aware they can access the NHS Flu Vaccination Service at their local pharmacy.

He said, “This is an excellent service and so accessible, with no appointments required. It only takes a few minutes and many patients are loyal to their pharmacy, so everyone knows each other quite well, making it an easy experience. The scheme will help protect people from health complications through the winter months by making sure they have their flu jab.”

Neera Shah, local community pharmacist at Bedwell Pharmacy, added: “As a community pharmacist, I am really excited about this year’s Flu Vaccination Service. I have been offering vaccinations and other public health services for several years and my patients have been extremely positive about these. There is so much that community pharmacists and their teams can do to help people with their medicines and their health.”

All adults aged 65 years and over, and those aged 18 years or over and in clinical risk groups, can receive a free of charge NHS flu jab at community pharmacies across Hertfordshire.

People in at-risk groups include pregnant women and those with certain medical conditions including asthma and diabetes.

Pharmacists will be administering the same flu jab as those offered by GPs, and patients’ GP practices will be notified that they have been vaccinated.

To find out more about the Flu Vaccination Service, click here.

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