This page is a printable version of: https://www.redbridgeccg.nhs.uk/redbridge-news/help-the-nhs-in-barking-and-dagenham-havering-and-redbridge-help-you-this-winter-by-getting-your-flu-vaccine/98620
Date: 12 December 2019
People who are most at risk of contracting or spreading the flu virus and live in Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge are being urged to have the flu vaccination this winter.
Most common over the winter period, flu is a highly contagious viral infection that anyone can catch, and it can be very serious for some people, especially vulnerable groups.
Across England last winter (2018/19) 5,505 people were hospitalised and there were 1,692 deaths associated with flu. In Barking and Dagenham last winter, 65 per cent of over 65s had their free vaccination; in Havering, 68 per cent of over 65s had theirs’; and in Redbridge, 67 per cent of over 65s had their free vaccination.
Getting the flu jab or nasal spray is one of the most effective ways to reduce potential harm from the seasonal flu virus.
The vaccination is offered free by GPs, local pharmacies and midwifery services to those at increased risk from the effects of flu.
You can find a participating local pharmacy here: https://www.londonflu.co.uk/
Dr Jagan John, local GP and Clinical Lead for Urgent Care for Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge, said: “It’s vitally important that if you are eligible for the free vaccine, you take up the offer.
“Flu has the potential to be really serious – causing complications such as bronchitis or pneumonia for those with underlying health conditions, and in some cases it can be fatal. That’s why it’s so important that people in the high risk groups make an appointment with their GP to get their flu jab.
“The vaccine is updated every year to combat the latest strains of the flu virus so if you are in a high risk group and had the jab last year, you will need another one this year.
“As well as getting the vaccine, practising good hand hygiene by catching coughs and sneezes in a tissue, throwing it away and washing your hands after can help limit its spread.”
Dr Magda Smith, Chief Medical Officer at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust said: “Flu is a serious illness and can lead to hundreds of thousands of GP visits and thousands of hospital stays a year. This could be reduced by everyone who is eligible taking up their free flu jab. The 2019 vaccine protects against all four strains of flu and it’s impossible to get flu from the vaccine because it does not contain live viruses.
“I encourage everyone who is eligible to get their free jab.”
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Notes to editors
Information on the flu jab can be found here http://www.nhs.uk/fluvaccine
You can have your NHS flu vaccine at:
It is really important that people at higher risk of developing serious complications from flu take up the offer of the free vaccine.
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