As winter beckons, NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is urging local people who are at risk of flu to book their appointments for a flu jab.

For most healthy people, flu is an unpleasant illness that usually lasts a week or so. However, older people, the very young, pregnant women and those with underlying disease are at particular risk of severe illness if they catch flu.

The best way for these groups to protect themselves and their families is by getting the flu jab.   This year, those at risk groups are:

  • Over 65’s
  • Pregnant women
  • At risk groups, which cover those with a long term condition (e.g. diabetes), those with a weakened immune system (e.g. cancer patients), heart disease, chronic respiratory disease, kidney disease, liver disease, chronic neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and people in long stay residential homes
  • Health and social care workers
  • Carers
  • Two and three year olds

This is the first year that young children aged two and three will be offered a nasal spray vaccine to protect them against flu. Young children’s close contact with each other means they are more likely to transmit the virus to other more vulnerable groups.

Dr Amanda Doyle, Chief Clinical Officer at NHS Blackpool CCG, said: “It’s really important that those people in the at-risk groups don’t put off getting the flu vaccine.

“Flu can lead to more serious complications like pneumonia and bronchitis which need hospital treatment so if you are in a risk group don’t delay and contact your GP surgery to make an appointment.  A five minute appointment to have a flu jab could save your life.

“You’ll not only be protecting yourself, but also helping to stop the spread of flu to family and friends.”