Flu Clinics

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Stay healthy and warm this winter!

Each year cold weather and cold homes contribute significantly to excess winter deaths and wider health issues. In 2013/2014 there were an estimated 25,000 excess winter deaths in England and Wales. Some groups, such as older people, very young children and people with serious medical conditions are particularly vulnerable to the effects of cold weather and some of these issues are caused by people living in cold homes.

Snow and ice also cause an increase in falls resulting in injuries which can have a major impact on the quality of life for older and vulnerable people. The wider health issues put pressure on social care services and the NHS. They estimate millions of pounds each year are spent treating preventable cold related illnesses. Cold weather can affect people’s immune systems and aggravate existing long-term conditions, particularly cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses.

The booklet below includes information about saving energy in your home and keeping warm, well and healthy. We aim to promote better health through addressing the issues people face living in cold, damp conditions by improving the energy efficiency and warmth of their homes. This booklet also offers health advice and other practical advice about your home including useful contacts for other relevant agencies.

Helping you stay healthy and warm

What is Flu?

Flu is a highly infectious illness caused by the influenza virus. It spreads quickly through small droplets coughed or sneezed into the air by an flu infected person.

Flu vaccines provide a means of effective protection against the flu, although protection may not be complete and may vary between people. The flu protection that the vaccine offers gradually decreases as flu strains change over time. Therefore, new vaccines are made each year and people at risk of flu are encouraged to be vaccinated every year. At the bottom is a leaflet containg all the people at risk.

The flu vaccination is offered to people in at-risk groups. These people are at greater risk of developing serious complications if they catch flu, such as pregnant women, elderly people, healthcare workers and anyone with long term chronic diseases. 

This winter’s flu jab protects against the same three strains of flu as last year’s vaccines. These include the H1N1 strain of the flu virus with H1N1 being the same strain of flu that caused the 2009 swine flu pandemic. H1N1 is included in the vaccine because it is likely to be one of the major flu strains circulating in Britain this winter.

The best time to have a flu jab is in the autumn, from September to early November

Is this year's vaccine safe?

Although no medical procedure is totally free of risk, flu vaccines are generally very safe. The most common reactions to the jab is a sore arm and you may feel hot for a day or two after the vaccination.

This year’s flu jabs have been tested and approved for use across the UK and in Europe. The jab cannot give you flu because it doesn't contain any active viruses.

The Department of Health recommends that everyone who is eligible for a flu jab should have it as soon as the vaccine is available.

If you are in an at-risk group and do not have the jab, you will have a greater risk of developing serious complications or even dying if you get flu this winter.

If you haven't had the flu vaccine and you are in a risk group, make an appointment to get vaccinated.

 

Children and the flu vaccine

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has recommended that all children from age 2 to 17 should have the annual influenza vaccination. The vaccine will be given as a nasal spray rather than an injection.

Pneumococcal Vaccination.

Criteria for vaccinating:                                            Contraindications:

- asplenia                                                                   - during acute infections

- sickle cell                                                                 - pregnancy

- coeliac syndrome                                                      - breast feeding mothers

- chronic renal disease                                             - re-immunising within 3 years  of a previous pneumococcal dose.

- immunosuppression                                                 

- chronic heart disease

- chronic lung disease

- chronic liver disease

- cirrhosis

- diabetes mellitus

Taken from the Green Book, DoH, updated December 2010. 

 

Influenza Vaccination.

Criteria for vaccinating:                                            Contraindications:

- COPD, asthma                                                        - hypersensitivity to hen’s eggs

- chronic heart disease                                              

- chronic renal failure

- chronic liver disease

- chronic neurological disease

- diabetes mellitus

- asplenia

- immunosuppression

- elderly

- carers

- health care workers

- pregnancy

Taken from the Green Book, DoH,  updated 28.09.2011.

  

Do suffer from...

Asthma? COPD? Diabetes Chronic kidney disease?

Chronic liver disease? Chronic neurological disease?

Are you…

Pregnant? A carer? Healthcare professional?

Then you are entitled to your FREE annual flu jab.


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