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Get jabbed as flu season approaches

Created on 11/10/2016 @ 10:44
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We have teamed up with the area’s health professionals to urge our readers to reduce the impact of the flu season by having a flu vaccination. 

‘Beat Flu’ aims to encourage the people who need it most to get protection each year against flu, a potentially dangerous disease. This includes everyone aged 65 and over, people with certain chronic long term health conditions and pregnant women.

Carers, volunteers providing planned emergency first aid and Community First Responders are also entitled to the vaccine, which is delivered as a small injection in the arm.

Frontline health and social care workers should have the vaccine as part of their occupational health care, to protect themselves and those they care for.

The vaccine programme will be extended this year for children and those between the ages of two and seven will be eligible. The vaccine for children is a simple nasal spray with children aged two and three receiving it at their GP practice while those in reception class and school years 1, 2 and 3 will receive the nasal spray at school.

Dr Catherine Woodward, Director of Public Health for Powys Teaching Health Board, said: “Flu can make you very ill, particularly if you are aged 65 or over, if you are pregnant or if you have a long-term health condition such as heart or lung disease, liver or kidney problems, diabetes, immunosuppression or a neurological condition including stroke or mini-stroke. Don’t forget that carers are also eligible for a free flu vaccination. Having the flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others from flu and it is free for anyone in an eligible group – just contact your GP practice or pop into a participating pharmacy.”

Each year the flu vaccine is changed to match circulating strains of the flu virus, this is to give best protection.

The flu virus is spread via droplets which are sprayed into the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Direct contact with contaminated hands or surfaces can also spread infection. It can spread rapidly, especially in closed communities such as hospitals, residential homes and schools.

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