Eligible residents urged to get the flu jab and ‘stay well this winter’
20th October 2016
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The campaign launched by Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England aims to help children and the vulnerable stay well over the winter months, in the biggest ever flu vaccination programme in England.  
At risk adults, including those with long-term health conditions, pregnant women and those over 65 will also be offered flu vaccination.
Councillor Muriel Davis, Portfolio Leader for Health and Wellbeing said “Flu can be much more dangerous for children than parents realise, and of course when they get it they tend to spread it around the whole family. 
The best way to help protect your children and the rest of the family is to get them vaccinated. For most it is not even an injection, it’s just a quick, easy and painless nasal spray.” 
Building on the success of last year, children aged 2, 3 and 4 can get the vaccination from their GP. Parents and carers of children in school Years 1, 2 and 3 are asked to give permission for their child to receive the free nasal spray vaccination at school. 
An extension of the programme to children in school Year 3 this year means around a further 75,000 can be vaccinated. Across England, more than 4 million children will be offered protection against flu – around 600,000 more than last year.
As well as offering protection to children aged 2 to 7 years, it will also help reduce the spread of this infection to the most vulnerable in our community, particularly younger children, the elderly and those with long-term conditions.
It is estimated that several million people get flu each winter, leading to more than 2,000 NHS intensive care admissions across the UK last year. Reducing transmission by children can potentially help cut the number of GP appointments and unplanned admissions for children and adults, reducing winter pressures on the NHS. The programme will be extended gradually to older age groups in primary school in future years. 
Flu can be particularly dangerous for those with long-term health conditions, like respiratory disease (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis or emphysema); diabetes; heart, kidney or liver disease; and chronic neurological diseases, like multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy. People with these conditions are eligible for vaccination because if they get flu, it is more likely to develop into a serious illness, which could result in admission to hospital. Last year, 46.4% of people with a long term health condition in the West Midlands region were vaccinated against flu. 
The campaign is also encouraging pregnant women to get vaccinated against flu. Pregnancy naturally weakens the body’s immune system, and so flu can cause serious complications for mother and her newborn baby. The free vaccine is offered to other groups at particular risk of infection and complications, or liable to spread it to those at risk: anyone aged 65 and over; residents of long-stay care homes; and carers. Those eligible should contact their GP, pharmacist or midwife, as appropriate, for more information. 
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I am Steve Mallows, the owner of thebestofcannock.I have lived in Cannock since moving down from Yorkshire aged 5 years.I am passionate about the Cannock area and helping local businesses. I have a keen...

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