Over 65 year olds offered free protection from the flu

Thousands of residents aged 65 and over in Crawley are being urged to claim their free flu jab by the local NHS, reducing the risk of serious health complications from catching the common winter illness.

Flu can be bad for everyone, especially for people aged 65 or over who are at increased risk from the effects of flu as the immune system typically weakens with age.

In Crawley there are more than 14,500 people over the age of 65 years old, and a third of them missed out their free vaccination last flu season.

Last year saw five over 65 year olds ending up in hospital from Crawley due to flu, which the local NHS believes could have been avoided if they had received their free flu jab.

 Dr Laura Hill, Clinical Chair for NHS Crawley CCG, said:

 “Just two thirds local over 65 year olds had the free flu jab last year, which meant thousands went unprotected and were at risk of serious health complications if they caught the flu.

“Those aged 65 years and over are now offered greater protection from influenza from the vaccine. So, this winter we are urging them to claim their free flu jab to ensure they are properly protected and don’t end up becoming very ill, and in need of medical care.”

Anyone aged over 65 can receive the flu vaccine for free through their GP and their local high street pharmacist. ­­

Find out more about the flu vaccine at www.nhs.uk