Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, had his free NHS flu jab to help remind people of the importance of staying flu safe this winter.
As part of NHS Merseyside’s Flu Safe campaign, over 345,000 Merseysiders who are at increased risk of serious illness from the flu virus are being invited to get their free flu jab to protect themselves from becoming unwell this winter.
All Merseysiders aged 65 and over, all pregnant mums, and anyone aged over six months with long-term health conditions, are eligible for a free flu vaccination.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “Getting the flu can be extremely serious for some of the more vulnerable members of our communities, such as older people, pregnant women and people with lowered immunity or a long-term health condition such as severe asthma, a chest or heart complaint, or diabetes.
“People with health conditions are used to managing their health and taking precautions, however many do not understand the risk flu poses to them. Flu can knock even the healthiest people off their feet for a couple of weeks, but getting flu when you already have a health condition can lead to serious complications and it can even be a killer.
“I would strongly urge all Merseysiders who fit into one of these increased risk categories to make sure they get their free flu jab, as it’s one of the best ways of protecting themselves and staying healthy over the cold, winter months.”
Speaking on behalf of NHS Merseyside, Dr Emer Coffey, Associate Director of Public Health for Liverpool added, “Last winter’s seasonal flu campaign saw more eligible people in Merseyside taking up the offer of a free flu jab than ever before.
“Over three quarters of those aged 65 and over, and over half of patients with underlying health conditions were vaccinated – but this winter we want to encourage even more Merseysiders to protect themselves by getting a flu vaccination.”
She adds, “Often people assume if they’ve already had a flu jab in the last couple of years that they will be safe, but the flu vaccination only lasts for one year. The flu vaccine changes every year to fight the latest strains of flu, so even if you had a jab last winter you need another one this year to stay flu safe. Please don’t underestimate flu – make an appointment with your local GP surgery and get your jab now to protect yourself all winter long. The flu jab is completely safe and doesn’t carry the live flu virus so it can’t give you flu.”
Flu can strike any time from early November, so it’s best to get vaccinated now to ensure you’re protected.
It is recommended for:
all pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy
Everyone aged 65 and over
Living in a residential or nursing home
Main carer for an older or disabled person
People aged six months and over with long-term health conditions, including:
Serious lung or breathing problems, such as severe asthma, needing regular inhaled or oral steroids
Serious heart conditions
Kidney or liver disease
A low immune system due to disease or treatment. For example, chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment for cancer or long-term steroid use
Problems with the spleen, either because the spleen has been removed or doesn’t work properly. For example, sickle cell disease cerebral palsy or a neurological disability
To arrange to get your flu vaccination, simply contact your local GP surgery. Once vaccinated, you will be protected throughout the winter period.