Elderly advised to get flu jab

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GAINSBOROUGH’S older people are being urged to get the flu vaccination to help protect them this winter.

Pregnant women, people with long term health conditions, carers and people over 65-year-old are also encouraged - as they are the people most at risk.

Experts say that every year, over 8,000 people in England and Wales die from flu related causes, and many of these deaths are avoidable.

Chief Officer for Age UK Lincoln Barry Earnshaw said: “If you are over 60, it is vital to get your seasonal flu jab to protect you at the time of year when you are most vulnerable.”

“Flu is not simply just a bad cold.”

He added: “It can increase your risk of more serious illness particularly if you have an underlying condition, so help protect yourself and those around you by having a seasonal flu jab at your local GP surgery.”

Director of Public Health for NHS Lincolnshire Dr Tony Hill said: “Seasonal flu, also known as influenza, is a highly infectious illness caused by a virus.”

“The types of virus in circulation change every year as does the vaccine, so, it is important that those at risk ensure they receive the jab annually to protect themselves.”

Dr Hill continued: “Those over 65 are entitled to a free NHS flu jab at their GP surgery. This will give them the best protection possible against seasonal flu. Older people are especially at risk, but carers of older people are also advised to get vaccinated to protect not only themselves but the person they care for, who may be particularly vulnerable.”

“And remember, the flu vaccine does not contain live viruses, so it cannot give you the flu.”

For more information, Age UK’s flu guide is available online at www.ageuk.org.uk