Northamptonshire residents urged to take up the offer of free flu vaccineCoronavirus
19 October 2021
People in Northamptonshire who are most vulnerable to flu are being urged to protect themselves and their families this winter by taking up the offer of a free flu vaccination.
It’s especially important to have a flu vaccination this year as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to flu during the pandemic.
Flu, most common over the winter period, is a highly contagious viral infection that anyone can catch. It can be very serious for some and even life-threatening.
One of the most effective ways to reduce potential harm from the seasonal flu virus and protect your immune system is through getting the flu jab or nasal spray.
Free Flu Vaccination
The vaccination is offered for free to those at increased risk from the effects of flu including:
- over 65s
- pregnant women
- people with long-term health conditions
- those who receive a carer's allowance or are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person
- front-line health and social care workers and care workers
- those living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facilities
- children over the age of six months with a long-term health condition
- children who were aged two or three on 31 August 2021
- all primary school-aged children (reception to year six)
- children in secondary school - year seven to year 11
- people aged 50-64 (including those who will be 50 by 31 March 2022).
This year the childhood vaccine programme, formerly limited to children aged two to ten, has been extended up to Year 11.
People with respiratory diseases such as COPD, emphysema or asthma are seven times more likely to die if they catch flu compared to those that don’t, and people with cardiovascular problems such as chronic heart disease or angina, or those who have had a stroke, are 11 times more likely.Dr Annapurna Sen, Public Health Northamptonshire
Even if you had a flu vaccine last year you will need another this year as the vaccine is updated every year to combat the latest strains of the flu virus.
What's more, if you get flu and coronavirus at the same time, research shows you're more likely to be seriously ill. So getting vaccinated will also help reduce pressure on the NHS.
Having the flu vaccine will protect your immune system and give you one less thing to worry about this winter. If you’re eligible why don’t you discuss the vaccine with your GP practice or visit a local community pharmacy today.
Vaccinating children not only helps to prevent them from getting the virus, it also prevents the spread of flu within our vulnerable population. Last year’s flu vaccination programme reduced the risk of flu in children who received the vaccine by 65.3 per cent. For healthy children aged two and above, the flu vaccine will be in nasal spray form, administered by a health professional.
Your GP practice should contact you if eligible. However you can also speak to your pharmacist or midwife for more information. They’ll tell you when you can have your dose and where to get it.
If you haven’t yet had a COVID-19 vaccination, it’s not too late. There is no charge for a COVID-19 vaccination. Find out more about the COVID-19 vaccination in Northamptonshire.