Don’t forget your flu jab

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People across Ribble Valley are being encouraged to take up the offer of free flu jabs this winter.

As well as being invited for flu vaccinations at their local GP surgery, people classed as being “at risk” can now ask for the jab at their local chemist.

For the first time, parents can also sign-up for a nasal spray flu vaccination for their two and three-year-old children for free. These are available from their GP practice.

Health leaders at Lancashire County Council are concerned that fewer people in east Lancashire are coming forward compared to the national average. The number of pregnant women receiving the vaccination in parts of Lancashire is also lower than the national average.

Debbie Wright, head of health protection for Lancashire County Council, said: “Older people, two and three-year-old children, pregnant women and those with certain health conditions are much more likely to catch flu during the winter.

“Flu is much more likely to cause serious health problems than many other viruses and colds, and in some cases, it can be fatal. That’s why we’re keen to support Public Health England’s push to encourage more people in these ‘at risk’ groups to get a vaccination.

“We want to focus on people aged 65 and over and we’re pleased that in central and north Lancashire more than 75% of residents were vaccinated last year. However, countywide, we’re concerned about the low numbers of pregnant women coming forward, and we have similar concerns about people in all at-risk groups in east Lancashire.

“We’d encourage these people to come forward and get their free vaccination. It’s now quicker and easier than ever with jabs available at your local GP or chemist.”

If people received flu vaccinations last winter, they are still advised to have the vaccination this year as it has been updated to protect against the latest flu strains. For more information about flu vaccinations, visit your local GP or chemist.