Boost your immunity this winter

Boost your immunity this winter

This year the flu vaccination is more vital than ever to help protect individuals, their loved ones and the wider community.

Last year colds and flu weren’t circulating very much due to the COVID-19 restrictions that were in place, and health experts warn that this winter we could see high levels of flu activity alongside rising cases of COVID-19.

Every year in England, the flu alone kills around 11,000 people and hospitalises thousands more. This year the flu vaccination programme has been extended to include more eligible groups of people to help them stay well this winter.

As we go into winter people are obviously spending more time indoors making it easier for people to pass viruses on from person to person. As we know COVID-19 is a serious virus but it’s important not to be complacent about flu.

Every year there can be new flu virus strains and vaccines are developed to protect you against these strains. That’s why, if you are eligible, you should have the flu vaccine every year.

People can get the flu jab at their GP surgery, a pharmacy offering the service or from a midwifery service if they are pregnant. Anyone can get the flu jab, but only people in a group listed above are entitled to a free jab through the NHS.

Director of Nursing & Quality at NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group, Claire Smith said: “It’s been another very challenging year and we need to do everything we can to help people stay well this winter. With COVID-19 still very much here, having the flu vaccine, if you are eligible, is more important than ever to avoid becoming seriously ill.

“My advice to people who are eligible for the free NHS flu vaccination is to get this done as soon as you can, so you are protected throughout the winter period. Please also be aware that if you are due your third dose or booster of the COVID-19 vaccine, you can safely have them at the same time as your flu jab, so there is no need to wait or put off having the flu jab. If you are eligible, please have your vaccines as soon as possible.”

Flu is spread by germs from coughs and sneezes, which can live on hands and surfaces for 24 hours. Flu symptoms come on very quickly and there can be a number of symptoms such as fever, aching, body, tiredness, dry cough, headache, sore throat.

Some flu symptoms are similar to COVID-19 symptoms. COVID-19 symptoms are high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – if a person has any one of the COVID-19 symptoms they need to book a PCR test as soon as possible and self-isolate immediately.

Categories: Health