Hampshire County Council is encouraging those most at risk from catching flu to take up their vaccination this Autumn. Flu immunisation remains the most effective method to help protect against influenza.
Councillor Patricia Stallard, Executive Member for Health and Public Health, explains: “The flu season usually starts in October. For most healthy people, flu is an unpleasant but usually self-limiting disease with recovery time taking up to a week. But people who catch the flu pass it on to an average of two people putting those most vulnerable at an increased risk, including those with long-term health conditions and pregnant women.“
“In addition to the flu vaccination, everyone can reduce their risk of getting flu or passing it to others through good hygiene. Using tissues when coughing or sneezing, binning these and washing hands regularly all stops infection spreading.”
Hampshire County Council is providing free flu vaccines to its frontline health and social care staff who work with elderly or vulnerable groups. This protects those in the county’s communities, most at risk, by helping them to stay well this winter, as well as those staff who support them.
The flu vaccine is offered free of charge by the NHS to those most at risk to protect them from catching flu and developing serious complications. Hampshire residents who qualify for this are encouraged to get vaccinated. This includes anyone who is the main carer for an elderly or disabled person at home.
This year also sees children in Hampshire school years 1 and 2 getting a nasal flu vaccination. Extending flu vaccinations to children will not only protect them from the illness but will also help to reduce its spread within families and the wider community. Children are the main source of transmission in the population.
Some people think the flu vaccine will not be effective. The vaccine is reviewed and updated annually by the World Health Organisation to match the main viruses expected to be circulating amongst the population. There is generally a good match between the strains of flu selected in the vaccine and the flu virus circulating.