This month the clocks go back one hour and we need few reminders that the colder, longer day of winter are creeping up on us…and with these seasonal changes comes the reminder that now is the time to have the seasonal flu vaccine.
If you are over 65, or have a long term health condition, now is the time to respond to your GPs invitation to call in to the surgery and have the vaccine. Others who should also be aiming to have the flu vaccine include, pregnant women and all children aged from 2 to 6 years.
It’s also important that the carers of vulnerable patients make the effort to have the vaccine, and that includes front line health and social care workers; the very people we depend on to help us when we ourselves are ill or who care for those in society who are less able to care for themselves either through illness, age or infirmity.
Dr Liz Mearns, Medical Director, NHS England South (Wessex) said: “ This is now the season when we find ourselves fighting outbreaks of flu, which for most patients amounts to a few days of feeling very unwell and not able to function normally while their body fights the viral infection. But for many others, particularly those over sixty five, or those with long term health conditions, expectant mothers and young children, contracting the flu virus can have serious health consequences.”
A simple vaccination will help keep the flu virus at bay, and minimise the spread of infection across our community. All GP surgeries are offering the vaccine, and you can also pop down to your local high street pharmacy to get the vaccine. Most, if not all of England’s community pharmacies including the chain superstores, are offering all adults the vaccine. Also this year, children in years one and two will receive the nasal spray vaccination in school.
Dr Mearns added; “It’s so easy to get the vaccine, and getting it done sooner will help ensure that you remain free from the virus throughout the winter months when the virus is most active and increasing your risk of contracting it.”