People are being urged to protect themselves this winter by getting the flu jab.
Calderdale Council is supporting Public Health England and the NHS by encouraging all people who are eligible for the free vaccine to attend their GP surgery or a participating pharmacy.
The flu vaccination is one of the most effective ways to reduce harm from flu. Every year, the NHS provides the vaccine free of charge to individuals who are at risk of severe complications with flu, or for those who may be a risk to others should they get flu.
People at risk of severe complications are those over 65 years of age, pregnant women and people under 65 years of age who have a long-term health condition, even if it’s well managed.
Around 15 per cent of the population of Calderdale have health conditions that mean they would qualify for a free flu vaccine, but only around half of these people take up the offer. It’s vitally important that these groups receive the vaccine, as flu can make the effects of an existing condition worse and or lead to complications such as pneumonia, which can be life threatening.
Calderdale Council’s director of public health, Paul Butcher, said: “We all know that prevention is better than the cure, so it’s vitally important that people take up the offer of the flu vaccine. The vaccine is free for many people, and it’s free for a reason – it offers important protection against the flu virus.
“We particularly want to increase the take up of the vaccine for people with serious health conditions. Even if the condition is well managed, these people are at greater risk of becoming severely ill if they catch flu, so it’s important to get the flu jab now, it’s offered by GP’s, local pharmacies across Calderdale and supermarket pharmacies.
“There are a lot of misconceptions about the flu jab, some people think it gives you flu, that healthy people don’t need to be vaccinated and that vaccines don’t work, but these are all untrue and in fact, the flu vaccine is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of getting the flu.”
For more information visit www.calderdale.gov.uk/advice/health/flu/