People in Barnsley are being urged to get their winter vaccines as soon as they are offered it to boost their immunity this winter.
Each year, GPs in the borough call on those who are eligible to get their jab to help protect themselves, their family and friends from the flu virus.
This year, flu will co-circulate alongside COVID-19 so vaccinating against flu and taking up the COVID-19 booster when offered is more important than ever.
Barnsley GP, Dr Madhavi Guntamukkala, said: “Flu can be serious for anyone, but for those in an ‘at risk’ category it can be life-threatening.
“People who are very young, old, or living with a condition, could be seriously impacted by the flu, so we are asking everyone that is eligible for the free flu jab to ensure they get it as soon as it is offered.
“Getting the vaccine takes just a couple of minutes and it’s the best defence we have against the spread of flu.
“We know the NHS is already very busy and as we head into these next few weeks and months, getting your flu jab is an important step people can take to help us to help you through the busy winter period.”
The NHS in Barnsley has already begun delivering the COVID-19 Booster campaign, but it is vital that people don’t delay in getting their usual protection against the flu virus.
Flu is an extremely contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza viruses that can cause mild illness in most people, but some are more likely to develop potentially serious complications, such as bronchitis and pneumonia.
Cllr Jim Andrews, cabinet spokesperson for Public Health, said: “Flu can have serious consequences and it leads to many deaths in Barnsley each year. Having the flu jab is a safe and effective way to help protect yourself and others, by reducing the spread of the virus.
“With COVID-19 still circulating, we need to be as healthy as possible. More people having the flu jab will help to keep our community safe and well this winter.”
GP surgeries will already be in contact with many of their most ‘at risk’ patients to arrange appointments. Vaccines can also be administered by your local pharmacist, so eligible people can make enquiries with them about available appointments.
Groups eligible for a free NHS flu jab in the 2021 to 2022 season include:
- children aged 2 to 15 (but not 16 years or older) on 31 August 2021 – who will be offered a nasal spray
- those aged 6 months to under 50 years in clinical risk groups
- pregnant women
- those aged 50 years and over
- those in long-stay residential care homes
- close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
- frontline health and social care staff employed by:
- a registered residential care or nursing home
- registered domiciliary care provider
- a voluntary managed hospice provider
Get your free flu jab if you are eligible and make sure you have had both doses of the COVID-19 vaccination and a booster if you are eligible.
For more information on winter vaccinations, visit the Barnsley CCG website at: www.barnsleyccg.nhs.uk/wintervaccines.