Are you at risk of the flu?
Protect yourself and your family – get a free flu jab
Autumn is here and it's time for those at greatest risk from flu to protect themselves and their families and stay well this winter with a free flu vaccination.
Flu is a highly contagious virus that anyone can catch and it can be a really serious illness for some people.
Children aged 2-3 and those in reception class and school years one, two three and four are eligible for the free flu vaccination*. For children, it's not an injection but a simple, painless nasal spray and parents are being encouraged to help protect their children from flu by taking up the offer of the vaccination.
· If your children are aged 2 and 3 their nasal spray vaccine is available through your GP – contact your GP surgery to make an appointment.
· School children in reception class through to year 4 will be offered their nasal spray vaccine through their school. Forms should be sent home to parents.
Free flu jabs are also available for those at greater risk from flu including; people with long term health conditions, people who have a suppressed immune system, pregnant women and everyone aged over 65. You can get your jab from your GP, midwife and also from some community pharmacies.
NHS Richmond Clinical Commissioning Group is supporting this year's Stay Well This Winter campaign, led by NHS England and Public Health England, and is encouraging everyone eligible to get vaccinated.
Dr Kate Moore, Vice Clinical Chair of the CCG and a local GP, said. "Flu can be a really unpleasant illness in children as they suffer the same symptoms as adults including fever, chills and aching muscles. The flu vaccination will help protect your child from flu as well as reducing the chance of flu spreading to other members of the family.
"If you have children aged two to three or a child in reception class or year one, two, three or four*, make sure you take up their free flu vaccination.
"The nasal spray vaccination is a quick, painless and effective way for children to be protected without the need for injections.
"Pregnant women, people over the age of 65 or those with a long term condition or a suppressed immune system should also make sure they get the flu jab as flu can lead to serious complications.
"People in receipt of a carer's allowance are also eligible for a free flu jab, and this will help them protect the people they care for from flu" he added.
For more information about the nasal spray vaccination and the flu jab visit http://www.nhs.uk/staywell/
A list of community pharmacists providing the flu jab locally is available at www.richmondccg.nhs.uk
*Children aged 2 and 3 and those in reception class to year four are eligible for a free flu vaccine (nasal spray). Click here for more detailed information.