DOCTOR CALLING: A weekly column by Dr Miles Langdon of South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, addressing topical health issues
South Lincolnshire CCG is urging those most at risk from flu to protect themselves and their families with a free jab.
Full protection from the vaccine takes up to two weeks to develop and can help prevent vulnerable patients from further health complications associated with influenza such as pneumonia.
Those most at risk include pregnant women, people living with a health condition such as severe asthma, chest or heart complaints, and those aged 65 and over.
Throughout autumn and winter, critical care units across the region become busy with people who should have been vaccinated against flu, most of these patients would have been eligible for a free flu jab on the NHS.
Dr Miles Langdon, chair of NHS South Lincolnshire CCG, said: “Influenza can be a very serious illness, even for those who are fit and for the elderly and ill could even be fatal.
“There are still people who have not had the flu jab. It is widely available from your doctors’ surgery and that this is a preventable illness.
“I would strongly advise you to contact your surgery to arrange for your flu jab.”
Contact your GP surgery now to arrange a convenient appointment and get your jab. It’s quick, safe and free for those most at risk from the virus.
Flu vaccinations are currently offered free of charge to the following ‘at risk’ groups:
• People aged 65 years or over (including those becoming age 65 years by 31 March 2014).
• All pregnant women (including those women who become pregnant during the flu season).
• Children aged 2-3, who are eligible for a free nasal flu vaccination
• People with a serious medical condition such as severe asthma or bronchitis, heart disease, chronic kidney disease at stage 3, 4 or 5, liver disease, Parkinson’s disease or motor neurone disease, diabetes, a weakened immune system due to a disease such as HIV/AIDS or cancer treatment, people living in long stay residential care facilities, people who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an older or disabled person.