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3rd Jul, 2022

Doctors' warning to 50,000 vulnerable people across Solihull over flu risks

John Carlon 23rd Sep, 2020

HEALTH bosses in Soliihull are urging 50,000 vulnerable people in the borough who ‘shielded’ during the peak of the coronavirus to protect themselves further over the winter with their flu jab.

The council is asking those people and their households to arrange their flu jab.

The vaccine is free to vulnerable people and their families, and protects them from risks of seasonal flu.

A Solihull health spokeswoman said: “Flu can be a serious illness and is very different to the common cold. It is life threatening for people who are in an at-risk group and each year up to 17,000 people die as a result of contracting flu.

“People aged over 65, those with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women and carers should speak to their GP or local pharmacy about their vaccination.”

“Children should also have the jab – for children aged two and three the flu vaccine is just a quick nasal spray, which can be given at their GP practice.

“All primary school children from reception to year six and children in year seven in secondary school will be offered the flu nasal spray whilst they’re at school. It is important that parents sign and return the consent form allowing them to have the flu vaccine at school.”

Dr Richard Mendelsohn, chief medical officer at NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Flu can be unpleasant for most people, but especially for older people and those with ongoing health problems, it can lead to severe illness, and even death. However, by getting the flu jab, you can help yourself and others.

“The best time to get your flu jab is between the beginning of October and the end of November.”

Solihull Council’s Cabinet Member for health, Coun Karen Grinsell, said: “The reason we talk so much about getting a flu jab if you are in one of the at-risk groups is that we don’t want to see anyone become seriously ill, especially when it is avoidable. By having the flu jab it will help increase your chances of being protected from flu and can lessen the symptoms if you do catch it.

“Your GP will contact you if you’re eligible for the flu jab. But you do not have to wait to be contacted before booking a vaccine.

Solihull Council’s Director of Public Health, Ruth Tennant added: “This year, with COVID-19 in circulation, it’s really important that if you are in one of the flu target groups you have the flu jab.

“You can get your flu jab at a range of locations throughout local communities, so you may be asked to travel somewhere, other than your GP practice.

“There is no need to feel anxious about getting the flu jab. All necessary measures will be taken to make sure the flu vaccine is given in a safe environment and the process will be quick and easy.”

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