Flu advice to Derbyshire’s old folk

POTENTIAL flu victims are being reminded to get themselves protected from the potentially devastating effects of flu after new figures reveal only half of pensioners in Derbyshire have had their flu jab compared to around 63 per cent this time last year.

POTENTIAL flu victims are being reminded to get themselves protected from the potentially devastating effects of flu after new figures reveal only half of pensioners in Derbyshire have had their flu jab compared to around 63 per cent this time last year.

And although take-up of the jab has risen by nearly five per cent in pregnant women in the County compared to this time last year, many individuals at highest risk remain unprotected from the flu.

Now doctors are calling for more of the people at highest risk from the virus to get themselves vaccinated. For those in an ‘at risk’ group the flu jab is completely free nd is a safe way of protecting you and your family in a matter of minutes. These include the over 65s, the under-65s with a long-term medical condition and pregnant women.

Dr Bruce Laurence, acting director of public health for NHS Derbyshire County and Derbyshire County Council, said: “The start of winter really is the best time to book an appointment with your GP to have the jab before cases of flu start to rise.

“Flu is a highly contagious infection that anyone can catch. Flu is not just a cold – it can be a really serious illness for some people and it doesn’t just affect older people.

“While most people who are normally fit and healthy recover from flu by taking plenty of rest, fluids and over the counter flu remedies, for those in one of the at risk groups it can cause serious illness such as pneumonia and bronchitis, make existing conditions worse and in the most tragic of cases cause death.

“Having the jab is really straightforward and safe, and it is not possible to catch flu from having the jab as there is no live virus in the vaccination. The only side effects are a slightly sore arm or a day or two feeling a bit under the weather, and even these are unlikely. Not only do you protect yourself, but if you don’t have flu you can’t pass it on to anyone around you and therefore help to reduce the risk to those who are most vulnerable to severe flu.”

Around 15 per cent of GP surgeries in Derby and Derbyshire had to temporarily postpone the start of their flu campaign due to delays from drug manufacturer Crucell. These issues have now been resolved, and all GP surgeries affected have now had their flu jab supplies or delivery dates confirmed.

Further advice about the flu and its symptoms can be found at www.derbycitypct.nhs.uk/staying-healthy/derbyshire-flu-safe/ or by calling NHS ‘111’.