Health Leaders Urge Everyone With a Long-term Health Condition to Act Promptly and Have their Flu Vaccination

25 November 2020 4:15pm

Issued by Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Sustainability and Transformation Partnership

Health leaders across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin are encouraging everyone with a long-term health condition to get their free flu vaccination as soon as possible and help protect themselves from the harms of flu.

Evidence shows people who catch flu and COVID-19 at the same time are more likely to need hospitalisation or die.

With COVID-19 infections on the rise, doctors, pharmacists and public health leaders are keen to make sure that eligible patients get their free NHS flu jab as soon as possible, to protect themselves and others from the double risk of flu and COVID-19 and reduce pressures on health services this winter.

Flu is a highly infectious disease and can lead to serious complications in people with an underlying health condition such as bronchitis, emphysema, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, immunosuppression or a chronic neurological disease – like multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy.

Dr Julian Povey, Joint Chair of NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG), said: "We know that people with some health conditions are at greater risk of complications if they catch flu and the consequences can be much more serious for them.

"If you have diabetes, a long term respiratory, heart, kidney, liver or neurological condition, are immunosuppressed, morbidly obese, have problems with your spleen or have a learning disability you are more likely to experience serious complications from flu.

"It’s more important than ever this year that you contact your GP or local pharmacy and make time for an appointment to have your free vaccination to protect yourself this winter.”

The free flu vaccine is the very best protection from the harms of flu.

The free vaccine is available from GP surgeries and pharmacies, and social distancing and safety measures are in place to make sure the vaccine is given in a safe environment.

People with long-term health conditions should ask their GP or Pharmacist about the free flu vaccine.