With winter fast approaching, now is the time to get yourself protected and have the flu vaccine if you’re eligible, says the county council.
In West Sussex the flu vaccine is available for free to the following groups who are identified as being most at risk:
People aged over 65-years-old
People with long-term conditions such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease and multiple sclerosis
People who are carers
Children who are aged two or three-years-old as of September 1, 2013
West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing Christine Field said: “I would urge residents at risk of flu to get protected and have the vaccine. It not only protects you, but reduces the risk of the virus being passed on to your friends and family.
“Flu is different to getting a cold and the effects of seasonal flu can be serious. Some people are more at risk and need the vaccine because they are not able to fight off flu as easily as others. It can end up resulting in more serious complications which require hospital treatment.”
The flu vaccine is provided free at GP surgeries for people with long-term conditions, carers, those aged over 65, pregnant women and children who are aged two or three-years-old as of September 1, 2013.
Christine added: “Flu is highly infectious. The virus that causes flu changes every year, as does the vaccine, which is why it is so important that those at risk protect themselves and get the vaccine every year.”
Everyone can also take simple steps to reduce their risk of catching and spreading flu by:
Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue and disposing of that tissue after one use
Cleaning hands as soon as possible afterwards with soap and water or an alcohol hand gel
To find out more visit the ‘get ready for winter’ webpages on the County Council website at www.westsussex.gov.uk.