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Spray flu away

 

Protect your children, protect the entire family with the free flu vaccine for children.

As autumn falls, bugs like the flu are on the rise. GPs in Crawley, Horsham and Mid Sussex are encouraging local residents to make sure they stay well over the coming months by getting the flu vaccine.

Flu is a very infectious disease with symptoms that can come on very quickly, and is most prevalent during the colder months. Those over 65 years of age, young children, pregnant women and those with long term conditions, such as heart disease or respiratory illnesses are particularly vulnerable.  Flu can sometimes develop into more serious conditions, such as pneumonia or bronchitis, or it can make existing conditions worse.

You should also ensure your child is vaccinated against flu if they are under five years of age.  Flu can be horrible for little children, and if they get it, they can spread it around the whole family.  Children eligible for the flu vaccine aged between two and 17 will usually have the flu vaccine nasal spray, rather than the jab.

Dr Deborah Allen, NHS Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG clinical lead for Children and Maternity and Mid Sussex GP, said: “By giving the flu vaccine to children we should be able to significantly reduce the number of serious cases of flu amongst children and other members of their family.”

Dr Patience Okorie, NHS Crawley CCG clinical lead for Children and Maternity and Crawley GP, said: “Flu is highly contagious and even though a healthy child is unlikely to develop a serious illness they could pass on the virus to other members of the family such as siblings or grandparents who are more vulnerable. So if children are vaccinated against flu they will not only benefit directly by being protected themselves, they will also reduce the spread of flu and help protect the population.”

There are a number of ways you can protect yourself against flu; one of the most effective is to make sure you get your free flu jab from your GP if you are particularly vulnerable.

Who is eligible for a free flu jab?

Talk to your GP about a flu jab if you:

•           are pregnant;

•           have a long-term condition;

•           have had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA);

•           are seriously overweight;

•           are a carer of an older or disabled person;

•           live in a residential or nursing home;

•           are over 65 years of age.

Don’t put it off; ask your GP about the free flu vaccine today.

Notes for editors

  • Children aged between six months and two years of age who are eligible for the flu vaccine should have the flu jab. Children eligible for the flu vaccine aged between two and 17 will usually have the flu vaccine nasal spray.
  • If you're otherwise healthy, you can usually manage flu symptoms yourself at home by resting, keeping warm and drinking plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Most people feel better within a week. See your pharmacist or GP if your symptoms get worse or last longer than a week.

 

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