Thousands of Warwickshire residents could be putting their
lives at risk this winter by not taking advantage of their
free flu vaccination.
In Warwickshire one in three people are entitled to a free
flu vaccination, yet every year thousands of people run the
lottery of catching the potentially deadly illness rather
than have the ‘flu jab’.
Everyone aged 65 or over is entitled for the free flu jab,
which GPs will start to offer to their patients from next
Tuesday, October 1.
Over 65s in Warwickshire are generally good at taking
advantage of this service, with almost 75 per cent getting
However, there are other at risk groups, and many of these
are not so good at booking their immunisation.
For example, only about half of adults in Warwickshire who
are identified as clinically at risk get their jab, and
even fewer children were protected last year, this includes
people with severe asthma, diabetes and chronic heart
Pregnant women at all stages of pregnancy are entitled to
the jab because they are particularly at risk of
complications from flu and the vaccine can protect their
baby in the first few months of life. Less than 50 per cent
of women who were pregnant last winter had their
vaccination and we are working with antenatal clinics to
encourage more pregnant women to have their jab this year.
Carers registered with their GP are another group entitled
to the jab, yet only half get it.
Dr John Linnane, Warwickshire County Council’s Director of
Public Health, said: “Flu is not just a cold – it can be a
really serious illness for some people and it doesn’t just
affect older people. If you’re pregnant, have lowered
immunity or a long term health condition such as severe
asthma, a chest or heart complaint, or diabetes then you
should also get a free flu jab from your GP and get flu
safe. The flu jab is completely safe, and it can’t give you
Public Health Warwickshire is encouraging everyone who
knows anyone who may be at risk from flu to tell them how
important it is that they get protected. Frontline health
and social care staff who provide personal care are also
encouraged to get a jab to protect themselves and those
The flu vaccine changes every year to fight the latest
strains of flu, so even if you had a jab last winter you
need another one this year to stay flu safe.
Cllr Bob Stevens, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio
Holder for Health, said: “I’m all booked in for my flu jab
and I’m pleased to see that in Warwickshire, pharmacies are
also supporting the vaccination programme.
“Flu can increase the risk of developing more serious
illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and can make
existing conditions much worse. Flu can knock you off your
feet and make it hard to look after children or go to
work. In the most serious cases, seasonal flu might land
you in hospital - it can even be a killer.
“If you’re in any of the ’at risk’ groups, the flu jab is
completely free and is a safe way of protecting you and
your family in a matter of minutes.”
The best time to be vaccinated is at the start of the flu
season from October to early November, so it’s good to get
in early and get flu safe in time for the winter.
Simply contact your GP to arrange a convenient appointment
and get your jab. It’s quick, safe and free for those most
at risk from the virus.
For more information, speak to your GP or local pharmacist,
or visit www.nhs.uk/flu or www.warwickshire.gov.uk/flu