Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Flu Vaccination Campaign

Health Chiefs in Cambridgeshire are urging people who may be particularly vulnerable to the impact of flu to get themselves vaccinated as quickly as possible.

As we move into the winter period, GP surgeries have started to receive stocks of flu vaccine and will be offering special clinic sessions from October to December.

Who should be vaccinated:

  • All those aged 65 or over
  • Those aged 6 months to 65 years with long term medical conditions who are in the high risk groups for flu vaccination
  • Pregnant women
  • Those in long stay residential or nursing homes
  • Carers of elderly or disabled people
  • Health and social care staff who are in direct contact with patients/clients
  • All children aged two and three

People with long-term medical conditions such as heart or lung disease, or with a compromised immune system are at much greater risk if they get flu and can suffer serious complications. The most common complications are bronchitis and pneumonia, which may require hospital admission and can be life threatening.

The high risk groups are not just the elderly, but include people of all ages who have serious conditions that put them at risk and also pregnant woman in whom flu can lead to serious complications that can damage the health of both mother and baby.

County Council Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Tony Orgee, said: “The flu vaccine is usually available from October each year, and GP practices are set up to vaccinate from then until December.  I would urge anyone who may be vulnerable to flu, or who is providing care or support from someone in a vulnerable group, to get themselves vaccinated as early as possible.”

For those over 16 years and from age six months to two years, the vaccine is given in a single injection. For the younger age groups (two to 16) a nasal vaccine has been introduced that has been used successfully for many years in the USA.

The majority of people will be able to be vaccinated at their GP surgery – most practices have special clinic sessions during the autumn – contact your GP for more information.

The Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, Councillor Martin Curtis, who suffers from a kidney condition, has already been vaccinated against flu by his local GP at the New Queen Street Surgery in Whittlesey. The vaccination was given by Dr Gary Howsam.