Health bosses are urging residents to get the flu jab ahead of Christmas and before winter really starts to bite.
At risk groups, which include people aged 65 and over, people with certain long-term conditions, pregnant women and young children are all eligible for the free flu jab and can get this by going to see their local doctor or pharmacist.
With the MET office announcing weather warnings across some parts of the UK, it’s important to remember that cold weather can weaken the immune system, which means that the flu can have a serious effect on our health.
Getting the flu jab will help you to stay protected from the virus and will reduce the risk of the virus spreading to others.
If you do get cold or flu symptoms or a cough, you should go to the pharmacist for advice as early as possible.
If the symptoms persist, you should make an appointment to see the GP.
In many parts of Mansfield and Ashfield you can make use of the evening and weekend appointment slots.
David Ainsworth, Director of Primary Care for the Mid-Nottinghamshire CCGs, which includes both Mansfield and Ashfield CCG and Newark and Sherwood CCG said, ‘’Winter is often a difficult time for the NHS, with added pressure on hospital Emergency Departments and GPs.
"All our NHS staff work even harder than usual during this time, but everyone has a part to play, including the general public.
"If you are eligible for a free flu jab, please contact your GP or pharmacist right away to get one.’’
With Christmas coming up, it’s also important for everyone to ensure they have enough medication to get through the Christmas and New Year period when GP surgeries and pharmacies may be closed.
This is especially important for those with conditions such as asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD.)
Dr Gavin Lunn, Clinical Chair of Mansfield and Ashfield CCG said: ‘’People with long-term conditions should now start to think about getting prescriptions to ensure they don’t run out over the festive period.
"We should all stock up on cough and cold remedies, including painkillers, cough medicine, cold and flu remedies and oral rehydration tablets."