Free flu vaccinations

Get your free flu vaccine.
Get your free flu vaccine.

With the summer holidays over for another year, preparations for the colder months are well underway - with a shout out for the annual flu jab - the best way to protect people from the potentially fatal illness.

The call is going out to thousands of Warwickshire residents not to put their lives at risk by not taking advantage of their free flu vaccination.

Flu vaccinations in the area get underway this month with GPs and pharmacies offering the jabs from Wednesday September 14 2016.

Countywide one in three people are entitled to a free flu vaccination, yet people risk catching the potentially deadly illness rather than have the vaccine.

Everyone aged 65 or over is entitled for the free flu vaccine, yet one in four did not receive their flu vaccine last year.

Flu puts a heavy strain on health and care services every winter, and residents are being urged to do their bit to prevent the problem.

Groups at risk include people with severe asthma, diabetes, chronic heart disease, chronic liver, kidney and neurological disease and those with lowered immunity.

Pregnant women at all stages of pregnancy are entitled to the vaccine because they are particularly at risk of complications from flu and the vaccine can pass on protect to their baby.

Flu in pregnancy can also increase the risk of miscarriage and premature birth, but fewer than 50 per cent of women who were pregnant last winter had a vaccination.

Carers of older and vulnerable individuals are another group entitled to the jab.

This year will also see all children in Warwickshire aged two, three and four offered free flu nasal sprays, plus all children in school years 1, 2 and 3 will get the vaccine through the schools vaccination programme to stop the illness which spreads quickly among children.