Media release from Nottinghamshire County Council: It is more important than ever to get the flu jab this year. With Covid-19 still circulating, Nottinghamshire County Council is encouraging residents to help reduce all avoidable risks by getting the flu vaccination.
Flu jabs help to protect the most vulnerable people from getting flu, including those aged 65 and above, pregnant women, children and adults with an underlying health condition and people with weakened immune systems.
The vaccine is free to anyone who falls into one of these categories, and Nottinghamshire County Council’s Chairman of Adult Social Care and Public Health Committee, Councillor Tony Harper, along with public health officials, is encouraging people to take up the free vaccination.
Councillor Harper, Chair of Adult Social Care and Public Health Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The flu vaccine is the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus.
“The best time to get your vaccine is in the autumn before flu starts circulating. It does not give you flu but will reduce the risk of catching flu or spreading it to others. If you had the vaccination in the past, that will not protect you as the flu strain changes every year, so you need to have a new one this year.”
This year, the free vaccination has been extended to school children up to year 7 to help protect them and prevent them from spreading flu to people who are more vulnerable. Children are given a nasal spray instead of an injection, those aged two or three will be invited to be vaccinated at their GP surgery and school children will be given the spray at school if their parents give consent via an electronic form.
Nottinghamshire County Council continues to offer the free vaccine to its front-line staff who work with the most vulnerable people in the community, such as social care workers and meals at home delivery drivers.
Later in the year, the flu vaccine may be given to people aged 50 to 64. More information will be available later in the autumn.
Councillor Harper added: “As well as getting the flu vaccine, there are other ways to stay safe this winter. It is also important to wash your hands often with warm water and soap, use tissues when you cough or sneeze and bin used tissues as quickly as possible. This will help stop the spread of both the flu and coronavirus.
“Getting the flu jab will help to protect the NHS, social care, the local community and your loved ones.”
Those who fall into the vulnerable groups are eligible for the free vaccine at their GP or local pharmacy. Anyone who is not eligible for the free vaccine can pay for it at their local pharmacy. Find out more at www.nhs.uk/staywell