At risk residents urged to stay ‘flu’ safe this winter in Ashford

Doctors in Ashford are reminding people at risk from flu to take up their free flu vaccinations and stay well this winter.

Flu is a highly infectious disease and can lead to serious complications if you have a long-term health condition like lung disease; diabetes; heart, kidney or liver disease, or have suffered a stroke.  Flu on top of health conditions like these can easily develop into something very serious and could land you in hospital.

People with these and other long-term health conditions, are eligible for a free flu jab from their GP practice or pharmacist. Pregnant women, children aged two and three, as well as primary school children, are also eligible for the free flu vaccine. For eligible children, the flu vaccine is not an injection, just a quick nasal spray.

Dr Navin Kumta, chair of NHS Ashford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “If you have a long term health condition such as diabetes, asthma or heart disease, it is very important to make sure you have the flu vaccine which is the best way to protect yourself from flu this winter. Having the vaccine minimises any risk of more serious complications that might arise from infection caused by the flu virus.

“Pregnant women should also protect themselves and their unborn baby against flu as they have an increased risk of complications from flu. The vaccine can be given at any stage of pregnancy and is safe for mother and baby.

“If you have primary school children, speak to your GP or school about getting them the nasal spray vaccine. Protecting your child can stop flu spreading to other children and the family, especially babies and grandparents, who may be at higher risk from flu.”

Everyone over the age of 65, people with long-term health conditions, and the main family carers of these people, can have the flu vaccine for free.

You can get the free flu vaccine from your GP practice, pharmacist or midwife. Most GP practices invite their patients to special flu clinics. Book your vaccination appointment now to get the best possible protection.

Visit the NHS flu vaccine website for more information.

Visit nhs.uk/staywell for more details on how to help you and your family to stay well this winter.

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