Plymouth City Council is urging local people to get their flu jabs as a major campaign to keep people well this winter is launched.
Public Health England has kicked off the new ‘Stay Well This Winter’ campaign with a new national flu vaccination programme for children, which this year seeks to help over three million 2-6 year olds, as the programme is extended to children in school years 1 and 2.
For the first time, all youngest primary school children will be eligible to receive the free nasal spray vaccine, making this the largest school-based vaccination programme in England. It will also be available via GPs and pharmacies.
As in previous years, the adult flu vaccine will also be offered for free to those in groups at particular risk of infection and complications from flu. The groups being offered the adult flu vaccine are:
- Pregnant women
- Those aged 65 or over
- Those aged under 65 with long-term conditions
Councillor Sue McDonald, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Public Health for Plymouth City Council, said: “It is essential that people know how to keep well during the winter months and one of the best ways you can do this is by getting your flu jab if you are in one of the affected groups.
“Flu can be very dangerous for vulnerable people such as very young children, elderly, people with long term conditions, or pregnant women, so please do get yourself protected.”
Professor Kelechi Nnoaham, Director of Public Health for Plymouth City Council, said: “Prevention is better than cure and flu can be very nasty so make sure you take advantage of your free flu jab.
“Make sure you look out for other information over the coming months of how best to keep well during winter. Keep your medicine cabinet well stocked and don’t forget to speak to your local pharmacist for advice. The health service always comes under more pressure in the winter months so we all need to do our bit to look after ourselves.”
Chief Medical Officer for Public Health England, Professor Dame Sally Davies, said: “Let me be crystal clear – flu kills. For many people it is an unpleasant illness but for the most vulnerable in society – small children, the elderly, those with long-term health problems and for pregnant women – it is extremely dangerous and lethal.”
A pilot programme last year showed that vaccinating children had a dual benefit – as well as protecting them from flu, it also protects others, such as parents, grandparents and siblings, as children are ‘super spreaders’ and are much more likely to infect others.”
More information on the local element of the campaign is available here:
The national website is available here: http://www.nhs.uk/staywell