Get your flu vaccine
Health chiefs are calling for everyone who is eligible for their flu vaccine to make sure they get it.
Anyone who is eligible is advised to make an appointment and in particular people aged 50 – 64. This age group has a low take up regionally at just 41.1%, below the West Midlands and national average, which has an ambition of 75%.
The flu jab is an effective way to protect yourself and your family. People can get the vaccine at their GP surgery, any pharmacy offering the service, through the midwifery service if pregnant or via a hospital appointment if invited.
The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to people who:
• are 50 and over (including those who'll be 50 by 31 March 2022)
• have certain health conditions
• are pregnant
• are in long-stay residential care
• receive a carer's allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
• live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
• frontline health or social care workers
Sally Roberts, Chief Nursing Officer for Black Country and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
Preparing for potential winter illnesses is important for everyone, but especially for those who are at higher risk of getting the flu.
Due to the restrictions that were in place last year, it’s possible that more people will catch flu compared with last winter as immunity levels will be lower. One of the most effective way to reduce potential harm from the seasonal flu virus is through getting the flu jab.
Getting vaccinated is important to not only protect yourself, but also the people around you, and to help slow the spread of the virus in the wider community. Even if you had a flu vaccination last year, the type of flu can vary each winter, so it is recommended to have the flu vaccine again this year or you won’t be protected.
The best time to have the flu vaccine is in the autumn or early winter before flu starts spreading, so I would encourage anyone who has received an invite to get their appointment booked as soon as possible.
Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said:
Getting the flu vaccine is a simple and effective way of protecting yourself and those around you.
While for most of us the covid vaccine is at the forefront of our minds, we mustn’t forget that flu comes around each year and can be extremely dangerous for older people and those with more vulnerable immune systems.