Get your flu jab and protect yourself this winter
Flu season is upon us and if you are over 65, living with a long term condition such as diabetes or COPD and haven’t had your flu vaccination yet, it is vital that you do so to protect yourself from the virus.
Flu can be a particularly serious illness and it's really not the same as the common cold. Flu is caused by a different group of viruses and the symptoms tend to start more suddenly, be more severe and last longer. As one of our GPs described it recently “If you see fifty pounds on the floor and still feel able to pick it up, you probably have a severe cold. But if you can’t summon up the energy to do it, you may well have the flu.”
Children are also at greater risk from the flu and if you have children under 5, we urge you to contact your GP practice and get them vaccinated if they haven’t been already.
The flu vaccine is still the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus which can cause severe illness and deaths each year among at-risk groups, including older people, pregnant women and those with a long-term health condition, even one that is well managed.
Even if you’ve been vaccinated before you need to get the vaccination again every year. This is because the virus can change, and your previous vaccinations might not offer you the right protection.
If you are worried about the vaccine causing flu, we want to reassure people that this is not possible, as there is no live virus in the vaccine to cause flu. Each year there is an average of around 8,000 new cases so it’s important to take care of your health and not put yourself at risk.
As well as your local GP practice, pharmacies across West Leicestershire are offering the flu vaccination free for eligible groups. Even if you are not eligible for the free jab, if you want to be protected you can pay for one at pharmacist such as Boots. You can find out about pharmacists in West Leicestershire by clicking here.
The flu jab can take up to two weeks to take effect, so please don’t delay and contact your local GP practice of pharmcist to get your free jab.