SILHILLIANS are being called to roll their sleeves up and get their flu jab ahead of the winter.
A free NHS flu vaccine is available every year to eligible people, to help protect them from the risk of flu and its complications.
Flu is very different to the common cold and can even be life threatening for people who are in an at-risk group.
People entitled to a free NHS flu vaccine are those who:
* are aged 50 years or over
* have long-term health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, heart, liver or kidney disease)
* are pregnant
* live in a residential or nursing home
* receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer of an older or disabled person
* 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).
Children should also be vaccinated as flu can be particularly nasty for children.
Those aged two and three should get the vaccines at their GP practice.
They can also act as ‘super-spreaders’ of flu and vaccinating them can protect more vulnerable members of the community.
All school children, up to year 11, will be offered the vaccine in school as a nasal spray.
It is important that parents sign and return the consent form allowing them to have the flu vaccine at school.
Dr Will Taylor, clinical chair of NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group and a local GP, said: “It’s more important than ever that those who are eligible get their flu vaccination when invited.
“The vaccine has a long history of being very effective against preventing the transmission of flu, and in a world where Covid-19 is still circulating, the more protection we have against illnesses, the better.”
Solihull Council’s cabinet member for Adult Social Care and Health, Councillor Tony Dicicco, said: “More people are likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the COVID-19 pandemic so please get your free flu jab if you are eligible.
“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.”