Get the flu vaccine to make sure you enjoy your golden years

People aged 65 and over across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are being encouraged to get their free flu vaccine to avoid catching the nasty virus this winter.

Flu is much worse than a heavy cold.  Flu symptoms come on suddenly and sometimes severely, especially with those who are older or have long term health conditions.  It can be fatal if there are complications.

Dr Paddy Hannigan, local GP and chair of Stafford and Surrounds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “As people get older, there is a greater risk of complications including chest infections, pneumonia and even fatality.

“These risks are greater if people also have a long-term health condition – particularly respiratory conditions.”

Flu occurs every year, predominantly in the winter – that’s why we call it ‘seasonal flu’. It’s mostly a respiratory infection, but it also causes headaches, fever, muscular aches and pains and chills.

Dr Hannigan added: “Vaccination is the best defence against the virus that causes flu infections. The virus changes every year, so the vaccine needs to be given each year. We’re very keen that people over 65 have the flu vaccination and our target is to ensure that 75 per cent of the population are vaccinated.”

Contact your GP surgery to book your flu vaccination, or you can also get it at most high street pharmacies.

For more information about the flu jab, visit the NHS website.

To find your local pharmacy, visit: https://beta.nhs.uk/find-a-pharmacy/