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Cumbria's GPs Back National Winter Campaign

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Cumbria's GPs Back National Winter Campaign

Posted on Friday 23rd October 2015

GPs across Cumbria are backing a major national drive to help people stay well this winter.

The national NHS Stay Well This Winter campaign kicked off with a national flu vaccination programme for children, which this year seeks to help over three million 2-6 year olds.

For the first time, all young primary school children are eligible to receive the free nasal spray vaccine, making this the largest school-based vaccination programme in England involving children in 17,000 schools.

As in previous years, the adult flu vaccine is also being offered free to those in groups at particular risk of infection and complications from flu, as follows:

  •  Pregnant women
  •  People aged 65 or over
  •  People aged under 65 with long-term conditions
  •  Carers

GP Hugh Reeve - NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group’s Interim Chief Clinical Officer - said: “This is the biggest ever drive to make sure that people in the ‘at risk’ groups get some protection to help them stay well as the winter months approach. Across Cumbria GPs have already started offering vaccinations to people who are eligible and we are reminding everyone that flu is very different to a heavy cold – for vulnerable people it can be a very nasty illness which can result in very serious complications.”

A national pilot programme last year showed vaccinating children had dual benefit; as well as protecting them from flu, it also protects others, such as parents, grandparents and siblings, as children are ‘super spreaders’ and are much more likely to infect others.

Parents are encouraged to complete consent forms in order to allow immunisation teams to administer the nasal spray flu vaccine to their children. For those children in areas where the vaccination is not offered through schools, they will be offered the vaccination at their local GP or pharmacy.

Colin Cox, Cumbria County Council’s director of public health,said: “It is really important that people who are in the at risk groups get a flu jab to give them the best chance of staying well this winter. For many people flu is an unpleasant illness but for more vulnerable people – small children, older people, pregnant women and those with long term health problems including chronic chest disease, heart disease and diabetes it can be extremely dangerous and can result in deaths.

“Getting the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from catching flu and I would urge everyone who is offered the vaccine free on the NHS to get vaccinated.”

All frontline NHS staff are once again being offered a free flu jab this season in order to protect themselves and patients from infection.

Stay Well This Winter is run in partnership with Public Health England, the Trust Development Authority, Monitor and the Department of Health. For more information please visit the website at www.nhs.uk/staywell|.

It urges the public to:

  •  Make sure they get their flu jab if eligible
  •  Keep themselves warm – heat their home to least 18 degrees C or (65F) if they can
  •  If they start to feel unwell, even if it’s just a cough or a cold, then get help from their pharmacist quickly before it gets more serious
  •  Always take their prescribed medicines as directed
  •  Look out for other people who may need a bit of extra help over winter

There is also advice there for people to choose the right NHS service – seeking advice from NHS 111 and local pharmacies and avoiding unnecessary trips to A + E.

 

INFO

Children aged from 2 years to children in Year 2 at primary school are being offered the nasal spray flu vaccine.

Posted on Friday 23rd October 2015

 

 
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