NHS Lincolnshire are urging residents to make sure those more at risk from flu go to their GP and get the latest flu vaccine.
Last winter 600 people in the UK died as a result of the flu, with thousands more dying because flu was a contributory factor. The NHS want to avoid the same happening this winter.
There are four groups NHS Lincolnshire are particularly keen to get inoculated. These are:
- Pregnant women and their baby;
- People with long term conditions which can be anything from diabetes to asthma, heart disease and multiple sclerosis;
- People over 65 years.
Director of Public Health for NHS Lincolnshire Dr Tony Hill said: “Flu is different to getting a cold and the effects of seasonal flu are often underestimated.
“Some people are more at risk from flu and need the vaccine because they are not able to fight off flu as easily as others.
“It can often result in more serious complications which require hospital treatment – and the figures from last winter show that sometimes there can be devastating consequences.
“This can be prevented by having the vaccine, which is being provided free at GP surgeries across Lincolnshire for people with long term conditions, carers, those over 65 and pregnant women.
“Flu is a highly infectious illness caused by a virus. It changes every year as does the vaccine to fight it, so it is important that those at risk protect themselves every year.
“Getting the free jab helps protect them and their loved ones.”
As well as the vaccine, there are other cautionary steps to take to avoid letting the virus spread, such as good hand hygiene techniques.
There will be information on this year’s flu jab to help educate people about the importance of a vaccine at GP surgeries, hospitals and clinics, or on NHS Lincolnshire’s website.