Staff at Castle Practice surgery in Ludgershall are preparing for winter by having the flu jab and helping to protect themselves and their patients against from catching the winter illness.
Dr Toby Davies, GP at Castle Practice said: “We have a duty to safeguard our patients, and the best way we can do that during winter is to have the flu vaccination. That way we are protecting ourselves from catching flu and at the same time helping to protect our patients, friends and families.
Flu, short for influenza, is a common infectious viral illness that is spread by coughs and sneezes. Many people who catch it will begin to feel better within a week, but for some it can be more serious.
Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, Chairman of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) added: “Flu is not just a bad cold – it can be a really serious illness for some people and it doesn’t just affect older people. The flu vaccine is the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus, especially for those most at risk, including pregnant women, young children and those with long term conditions, such as severe asthma, chest or heart complaints and diabetes.
We urge those in high risk groups to have their flu vaccination now, it’s free and you can arrange to have it at your GP Surgery or see if your pharmacist is providing the flu vaccination service.”
Those in the high risk group are eligible for a free flu vaccination and include:
- Children aged two and three
- Pregnant women
- Adults aged 65 years and older
- Anyone with a long term condition
- Those in long-stay residential care homes and carers
The flu vaccine changes every year to fight the latest strains of flu, so if you had a jab last winter you will need another one this year to stay flu safe.
Dr Sandford-Hill added: “Winter flu is a highly infectious disease with symptoms that come on very quickly. Having the vaccination is a quick and simple procedure with minimal or no side effects and provides you with effective protection against the flu virus.
If everyone has the flu vaccination, we collectively help to protect each other from the virus and reduce the spread between our families, friends and colleagues.”
For more information about how to get the flu jab and staying well this winter visit www.wiltshireccg.nhs.uk