Home Health Protect yourself and your family from flu
Flu vaccination poster

Protect yourself and your family from flu

by Gemma Melling

Have you had your flu jab? If you fall into one of the ‘at risk’ categories for flu, then now is the time to take up the offer of a free vaccination.

Knowsley Council’s Public Health team is appealing to all the vulnerable groups to protect themselves this winter by getting vaccinated.

Who can get the free flu jab?

A nasal spray vaccine is offered to two and three year old children, under-16s in ‘at risk’ groups and all primary school pupils. Other risk groups who receive free vaccinations are people aged 65 years or over, all pregnant women, people with long-term medical conditions including heart disease, diabetes, severe asthma, bronchitis, liver and kidney disease and those who are morbidly obese (defined as BMI of 40 and above).

Free vaccines are also offered to people with weakened immune systems and their household contacts, people living in long stay residential care homes, people who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, and all registered carers.

Cllr Sean Donnelly, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, 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. There is also a new more effective vaccine for the over 65s.

“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 vaccine is safe and effective. So don’t wait until there’s a flu outbreak this winter and remember even if you had a vaccination last winter you need another one this year to stay safe from flu.”

How do I arrange to have my flu jab?

Simply contact your GP to arrange a convenient appointment or visit a pharmacist to get vaccinated.