Hit winter flu with free jab

A wide range of residents are eligible for the free flu vaccination.
A wide range of residents are eligible for the free flu vaccination.

The East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s public health team is urging people who are eligible for the free flu vaccination to take up the offer.

Free flu jabs are available for people aged 65 and over, people aged from six months to less than 65 years of age with a long-term health condition, pregnant women, children aged from two to ten years, people in long-stay residential care homes, unpaid carers and staff who work as carers in residential, home and hospice care.

All children aged two to ten years are to be offered flu vaccinations as a nasal spray.

Children in Reception and school years 1 to 6 will be offered the flu vaccination within a school-based programme.

This will help with uptake and will make it easier for parents as the need for fitting in GP appointments around work and school is removed.

A serious medical condition includes:

○ Chronic (long-term) respiratory disease, such as severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchitis

○ Chronic heart disease, such as heart failure

○ Chronic kidney disease at stage three, four or five

○ Chronic liver disease

○ Chronic neurological disease, such as Parkinson’s disease or motor neurone disease, or learning disability

○ Diabetes

○ Splenic dysfunction

○ A weakened immune system due to disease (such as HIV/AIDS) or treatment (such as cancer treatment)

○ Morbidly obese (defined as BMI (Body Mass Index) of 40 and above)

The flu jab is available free from GP surgeries and pharmacies for people in the at-risk groups, and through a school-based programme for children aged 4-10 years.

Flu occurs every year, usually in the winter, which is why it’s sometimes called seasonal flu.

Janet Smith, public health lead for health protection and older people, said: “The more people who are vaccinated, the lower the likelihood and spread of infection, reducing pressure on the NHS and social care during winter months. The best way to avoid catching and spreading flu is by having the vaccination before the flu season starts.

“Don’t be put off getting the flu vaccination. If you are eligible get it now, it’s free because you need it.”