Health chiefs urge ‘at risk groups’ to get flu jab

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Pregnant women, the over 65s and people with long term or chronic conditions are being urged to get flu safe with a free vaccination this winter.

The NHS is reminding people to prepare for the winter months by getting a free flu jab at their local pharmacy.

Flu can cause serious complications for at risk groups, such as the elderly, expectant mothers and people with pre-existing conditions.

Pharmacies are offering convenient walk-in services, so there is no need to book an appointment.

Dr Mike Prentice, medical director of NHS England, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, said: “Flu is not just a bad cold.

“It can increase the risk of developing more serious illnesses, especially for the elderly and those with long term or chronic conditions. In the worst cases, flu can result in a hospital stay, and it can even kill.

“The vaccine is the best possible protection against the flu virus. Even if you have had the vaccination before, the types of virus in circulation changes every year, as does the vaccine, therefore it is important that you get the jab every winter.”

Vaccines should be available from mid-September until December at your local GP practice or pharmacy.

For more information visit www.nhs.uk/flu