People with a range of “long term conditions” (LTCs) are being urged not to put off having the flu jab and get themselves protected.
There are a wide range of LTCs, but they include heart disease, diabetes, conditions which affect breathing like asthma, and kidney disease.
Dr Mukesh Singh, a GP in Staffordshire and CCG Respiratory Lead said: “If you have an LTC you will really benefit from the flu jab. That’s because if you get flu you are at greater risk of complications setting in, especially if your immune system isn’t working very well.
“Prevention is always better than cure. We want people to stay well, and a bout of flu in addition to your LTC could lead to you becoming seriously unwell, quite often through pneumonia, which may result in a spell in hospital.
“For anyone identified as being in a vulnerable category the flu jab is completely free and will usually be offered through a flu clinic at your GP surgery. If you are not sure if you have an LTC or should get a flu jab then please contact your surgery.”
There are other vulnerable groups that should also get immunised. These include:
- Anyone aged over 65 – there is a separate vaccine for over 65s this year
- Children aged 2 and 3 and in reception class and school years 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 – they will be immunised using a nasal spray
- Children with certain health conditions from 6 months upwards
- Pregnant women
- Carers, so they can’t pass on illness to the people they care for
Staffordshire GP Dr Mo Huda talks about the importance of immunisation for anyone with a Long Term Condition.