Protect yourself and your family from flu

Published on: Monday, 22-September-2014

People in Knowsley at risk from the complications of flu are being urged to take up the offer of a free flu vaccination.

Knowsley Council is appealing to all the vulnerable groups to protect themselves this winter by getting vaccinated. This includes people over 65, pregnant women, and those with underlying health problems

In addition, a nasal spray vaccine will also be offered to healthy two, three and four year old children in a bid to slow down the spread of the virus to vulnerable people.  This marks a step in an extension to the national flu vaccination programme, which will eventually include yearly vaccination of all 2-16 year olds.

Matthew Ashton, Director of Public Health in Knowsley said “For the majority of people, flu is an unpleasant, but not life-threatening illness. However, it can be very serious for older people and those groups at risk of developing complications.

“They include those with weakened immune systems as well as underlying conditions such as neurological disorders, liver, lung or renal disease, heart problems or diabetes and pregnant women.

“Vaccination remains the best way to protect against the potential serious harm from flu this winter. I urge everyone entitled to a free vaccination, to take up the offer – especially people in at-risk groups and the parents of young children who qualify.”

The flu vaccine changes every year to fight the latest strains of flu, so even if you had a vaccination last winter you need another one this year to stay safe from flu. 

Simply contact your GP to arrange a convenient appointment and get you or your child vaccinated.

People who need the free flu vaccination include:

  • People aged 65 years or over
  • All pregnant women (including those women who become pregnant during the flu season). 
  • All healthy two three and four year olds
  • People with a serious medical condition such as 
    -  Long term severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchitis
    -  Long-term heart disease, such as heart failure
    -  Long term kidney disease and liver disease
    -  Long term neurological disease, such as Parkinson's disease or motor neurone disease
    -  Diabetes 
    -  A weakened immune system due to disease (such as HIV/AIDS) or treatment (such as cancer treatment) and their household contacts
  • People living in long stay residential care homes
  • People who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an older or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill

Don’t wait until there is a flu outbreak this winter: contact your GP practice now to get your seasonal flu vaccination early.