Don’t forget to get your flu jab!

Don’t forget the 2015/2016 flu jab programme is about to start, so it’s time to check with your Gp practice to find out when flu jab clinics are taking place & take up the opportunity of this vaccination if you need one. If you can’t attend the clinic then ask about attending at some other time.

Each year, the viruses that are most likely to cause flu are identified in advance and vaccines are made to match them as closely as possible. The vaccines are recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The WHO has announced that the 2015/16 flu vaccine will protect against three types of flu virus:

  • A/H1N1 – the strain of flu that caused the swine flu pandemic in 2009
  • A/H3N2 – a strain of flu that can infect birds and mammals and was active in 2011
  • B/Phuket/3073/2013

Flu can be more severe in certain people, such as:

  • anyone aged 65 and over
  • pregnant women
  • children and adults with an underlying health condition (particularly long-term heart or respiratory disease)
  • children and adults with weakened immune systems

Anyone in these risk groups is more likely to develop potentially serious complications of flu, such as pneumonia (a lung infection), so it’s recommended that they have a flu vaccine every year to protect them.

If you are unsure whether you should have the flu injection, ask the question and make sure you are protected this winter. Remember that this injection will not guarantee you will not get flu (& will not stop all flu viruses) but by having the vaccination it is more likely to be milder & shorter lived.

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