Guest blog: Stay Well This Winter… protect yourself and those you care for

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Below is a message from Public Health, Cheshire West and Chester about keeping well over the coming winter months:


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If you are eligible for a free flu vaccination it is important that you take up the offer every year.  This year is especially important as the UK are expecting a busy flu season.  By getting the flu vaccine, you not only reduce the risk of getting flu yourself, you’ll help to protect your family and friends and help reduce the pressure on GP and health services.

As in previous years, the adult flu vaccine is offered free to those people in groups at particular risk of infection and complications from flu. These include:

– are aged 65 or over
– are pregnant
– have a long-term health condition
– live in a long stay care home
– are the main carer of an older or disabled person
– live with someone who has a weakened immune system

*Frontline health and social care workers should be offered a flu vaccination by their employer.*

Pregnant Women

There are lots of myths surrounding the flu vaccination, and a key one is pregnant women concerned that the vaccination may harm their unborn baby. In fact, all pregnant women should have the free, seasonal flu vaccine to protect themselves and their baby.  It also helps provide immunity to their baby in his or her first few months.

Children aged 2-8 years

Children aged 2-8 years are also eligible for the free flu vaccination (usually in the form of a nasal spray). Children of school age will have the opportunity to get the vaccination in the school setting.

Anyone else who is eligible for the free flu vaccination should contact their GP or local pharmacy.

If you are not eligible for the free flu vaccination, there are many pharmacies now offering a private vaccination service at a small fee.  By getting the flu vaccine, you not only reduce the risk of getting the flu yourself, you will also help protect your family and friends.

The NHS ‘Stay Well This Winter’ campaign urges the public to:

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

www.nhs.uk/staywell

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