Flu is a highly infectious disease and can lead to serious health complications. Certain groups are more at risk of flu and vaccination is still the best protection we have. These people are offered the vaccine free of charge, and are advised to have it every year.
Those with underlying health condition
If you have an underlying health condition such as COPD, bronchitis, emphysema, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease or a chronic neurological disease like multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy, catching the flu increases your chance of serious complications and a hospital visit.
Adults aged 65 and over
The flu vaccination continues to be available to adults aged 65 years old and over, who are more vulnerable and may suffer more than most people if they catch flu. This year a more effective vaccine is being given to those aged 65 and over, which is proven to give better protection.
Flu can be nasty for little children. Children also tend to be super-spreaders of flu so if they get it, they are likely to infect more vulnerable family members such as older relatives. The flu vaccine will help protect your child from flu and also reduce the chance of it spreading on to others. For most children, the vaccine is not usually an injection, just a quick and easy nasal spray. Children aged 2 and 3 can receive the vaccine through their GP and children in reception and school years 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 receive it in school.
Pregnancy naturally weakens the body’s immune system and as a result flu can cause serious complications for you and your baby. If you have flu while you are pregnant, you may be less able to fight off infections. The vaccine is the safest way to help protect you and your baby against flu, no matter how many months pregnant you are or however fit and healthy you may feel.
University Hospital Southampton staff
Frontline healthcare workers are more likely to be exposed to flu, particularly during the winter when some patients will be infected or more vulnerable to infection. As flu is highly infectious, we offer all of our staff the flu vaccination for free. By getting vaccinated our staff will help to protect themselves, their family and our patients.
If you are eligible for the flu vaccine, get it now.
Contact your general practice, pharmacist or midwife to get your vaccine.
Trust staff can contact their local vaccinator is or drop in to occupational health at anytime during opening hours.
Visit www.nhs.uk/fluvaccine for more information.
Posted on Wednesday 5 December 2018