Have you had your flu jab?
With the winter fast approaching, Islington doctors Dr Shaine Mehta and Dr Jacqueline Lenders explain why it’s important for people to get their flu jab.
Dr Mehta said: “Having the flu jab is important not only to protect ourselves and those we care for, it also helps stop the spread of flu in the community. This is why so many people in our team have had their jabs already. Whilst some people may have a mild reaction to the jab as their body works to build up resistance, it’s not possible to catch flu from the jab.”
Flu is an unpleasant illness at the best of times, but for older people and people with underlying health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, asthma or lung disease, it can bring about complications making it much worse which can lead to a stay in hospital or even death in the worst cases.
Those who are at particular risk can have a free flu jab at their doctor’s surgery or local pharmacy. This includes over 65s, those with underlying health conditions, people who are very overweight and those caring for an elderly or disabled person.
The NHS is also providing free vaccinations to children in reception through to year 5 via a nasal spray rather than injections to help stop the spread of flu. Parents should ensure that they return the consent form that schools provide. Parents of 2-3 year olds can have their children vaccinated at their family doctor’s.
Dr Lenders said: “Of course, it’s also important to have good hand hygiene, using soap and warm water, and if we do sneeze, remember to “Catch it, bin it, kill it.”
So, if you are eligible for the flu vaccine get it now – it’s free because you need it. Speak to your GP or pharmacist to book yours.