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Patients reminded to arm themselves against flu

Press Release   •   Dec 02, 2013 12:51 GMT

Bury’s seasonal flu vaccination campaign is now well under way and local GPs are reminding their patients at risk of developing serious complications from flu, to get protected. 

For the majority of normally healthy adults flu is unpleasant and inconvenient, but they will begin to feel better usually within a week.  Some people, however, are more likely to have a bad case of flu and develop serious complications such as a chest infection. In a small number of cases, flu can cause patients to become critically ill and even die from the infection.  The complications of flu mostly affect people such as pregnant women, people aged 65 and over, and children and adults living with a long term health condition such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease.

It’s really important that patients who are eligible to receive the vaccination get protected, even if they don’t consider themselves at high risk.

Carers and those living in nursing or residential homes are also offered the vaccine, as well as front line health and social care workers, and new for this year a ‘needle free’ nasal spray flu vaccine is being offered to children aged two and three years.  Eligible patients can get the flu vaccination at their GP practice.

Dr Kiran Patel, Chairman and Clinical Lead for NHS Bury Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “The seasonal flu vaccination campaign is well underway. Local GPs are really keen to protect their patients before winter kicks in. The vaccine is free, safe and it can save your life.  I would urge local people who are eligible to get protected as soon as they can.”

In addition to the seasonal flu vaccination campaign, Bury is one of only six areas in the country chosen to offer the nasal flu vaccination to healthy school children aged 4 to 11 years, within their place of education.

Lesley Jones, Bury’s Director of Public Health, said: “The pilot programme we’ve been running in primary schools has proved very successful, and so far nearly 9,000 children have been vaccinated.

“Children get a lot of flu, and this vaccine offers the best way to protect them. Just as importantly, children are also big transmitters of the flu virus, so this initiative will reduce the risk of the virus spreading to older members of their families. Flu is a potentially serious illness, and this project will almost certainly save lives.”

ENDS

Date: 29 November 2013

FOR PRESS & MEDIA ENQUIRIES: contact Caroline Dearden, Communications and Engagement Manager on 0161 762 3106 or email buccg.communications@nhs.net