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At risk groups urged to get flu jab
9:49am Wednesday 23rd January 2013 in News
TRAFFORD residents in the 'at risk' groups who have not yet had their seasonal flu jab are being encouraged to do so after an outbreak of flu in Stockport.
The at risk groups include patients with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease, carers and those living in long-term residential care.
Seasonal flu is a highly infectious illness that happens every year. It can cause a sudden high temperature, headache, general aches and pains, tiredness and a sore throat.
Martin Samangaya, immunisation coordinator at NHS Trafford, said: “Flu is very unpleasant and can leave you feeling unwell for a long time. Patients with chronic illnesses have compromised immune systems, which means they are more susceptible to picking up illnesses and can find it harder to fight off flu if they get it.”
Pregnant women are also at risk. “There is good clinical evidence to suggest that seasonal flu can have severe consequences for pregnant women, so it is important that they get the jab to protect themselves and their unborn babies,” Martin added.
“There are a lot of myths about the flu jab, but it doesn’t contain a live virus so it is not possible to get flu from the vaccine itself. It causes your body to create antibodies so it is able to destroy the virus if you exposed to it. The seasonal flu virus changes every year, so even if you had the jab last year, you will need it again to protect yourself from this year’s strain.
“It is very safe and I would strongly encourage anyone who is in the at risk groups who hasn’t yet had their vaccine to make an appointment with their GP as soon as possible to get it.”
To find out more about the vaccine, contact your GP practice or visit www.nhs.uk.