Health leaders in Plymouth are kicking off the annual Stay Well This Winter campaign by getting their flu jabs.
Dr Ruth Harrell, Director of Public Health and Councillor Lynda Bowyer, Cabinet Memnber for Health and Adult Social Care for Plymouth City Council decided to lead by example by getting their flu vaccinations up at the Mount Gould Local Care Centre with Livewell Southwest on Monday 16 October. Plymouth City Council is working closely with partners in the health service to ensure as many people protect themselves against flu as possible.
Stay Well This Winter is a national campaign led by NHS England and Public Health England and aims to encourage people to take a proactive approach to warding off common winter illnesses. Getting vaccinated against flu is a key part of this for people in a number of specific social groups, incuding:
- People aged 65 and over
- Pregnant women
- People with long term health conditions such as COPD, bronchitis, diabetes, emphysema, heart, kidney or liver disease
- Children with underlying health problems
- Children in reception and school years one, two and three
- Children aged two and three
Dr Ruth Harrell said: “If you are eligible for the flu vaccine please get it now – it’s free because you need it. You can contact your GP, pharmacist or midwife to get the flu jab.
“I have a long term condition which could make the flu even more serious for me, so I have the flu vaccine every year.
“Flu can be horrible for young children and if they catch it they can easily spread it around the family. The vaccine for children is given through a painless nasal spray available through schools for children in reception class and school years one, two and three, and this is also offered through your GP for children aged two, three and four years of age. GPs can also offer the nasal spray to children with underlying health problems that make them at increased risk of flu.”
Councillor Lynda Bowyer said: “Flu is a highly infectious disease and can lead to serious complications if you have a long term health condition. Pregnancy also weakens the body’s immune system and can cause serious complications for you and your baby.
“It is essential that anyone who is eligible for the flu vaccination has it every year as the vaccine protects against different strains of flu which can change each year.”
Steve Waite, Chief Executive of Livewell Southwest said: “Flu can affect anyone, but some people are more vulnerable than others, as they may already have a weakened immune system. This includes children, infants, older people and those with a long term condition. The seasonal flu campaign aims to protect as many people as possible by preventing the spread of the virus. We strongly encourage colleagues and all health and social care workers to take up the offer of a free flu vaccination as its everyone responsibility to fight the spread of flu.”
Visit www.nhs.uk/staywell for more information.