Published: Tuesday, 30th October 2018
Medway Council is encouraging residents to protect themselves against flu.
The colder months bring a greater risk of the flu and residents who are eligible for a free flu jab from the NHS are being encouraged to get their #jabdone.
Many people think flu is just a bad cold, but there were more than 3,000 hospital admissions in England due to flu last year.
People with a wide range of health conditions are eligible for a free flu jab, including: heart, kidney or liver disease, conditions that affect your breathing such as bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or bad asthma, diabetes and neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s. People in these groups are much more likely to become severely unwell from flu - the flu jab is free because you need it.
Children aged two to three, pregnant women, carers, over 65s and front line health and social care workers are also eligible for a free flu vaccination.
'Flu is much worse than just a cold and can lead to severe illness'
Cllr David Brake, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder covering Public Health, said: “I would encourage residents who are eligible for a free flu jab to have their vaccination. Flu is much worse than just a cold and can lead to severe illness. Children who catch flu can become unwell and may spread flu around the whole family. Children can be protected with a quick and painless nasal spray. I will be having my flu jab this year and I would encourage residents to book theirs as soon as they can.”
If you are eligible for a free jab, contact your GP or pharmacist to book an appointment. Children up to nine years old will receive their flu vaccine at school.
Medway Council is also encouraging residents to look out for their neighbours and elderly relatives over the Christmas and New Year period.
No one wants to be alone, especially at Christmas. Age UK research found that half a million older people in the UK spend five or six days a week not seeing or speaking to anyone.
Get to know your neighbours or someone you think could be on their own this festive season. If you are new to Medway or getting used to a new home following a recent move, getting to know your neighbours can be hugely rewarding - plus you might make some new friends. Ways to build friendships include hand delivering Christmas cards or giving spare Christmas decorations to your neighbours.
Residents are also encouraged check on elderly relatives and make sure they are warm and stocked with supplies and medicines over the winter period.