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City’s GPs urge those at risk to “Roll Up” and claim free flu jab

Local GPs are urging those at risk of medical complications if they get the flu, to “Roll Up” to claim their free flu jab to help protect their health this winter. 

The NHS in Brighton and Hove is offering a free flu vaccine to at-risk groups, as it is the best protection possible against this unpredictable virus. This includes people aged over 65, those under 65 but who have a long-term condition, and pregnant women.

Children aged two and three will be offered the vaccination at their general practice, and those in reception class and school years one, two, three and four will be offered their vaccination in school.

Dr Katie Stead, GP and Clinical Lead for Public Health for Brighton and Hove CCG, who gets a flu jab each year said: “As GPs we know it is vital that we get vaccinated to protect our health so we can continue to provide care for patients, and so that we don’t spread the virus in our community.”

Flu is a highly infectious disease and can lead to serious complications for those with long-term health conditions like bronchitis, diabetes, heart or liver disease. Catching flu on top of these can easily develop into something very serious and could get bad enough to require hospital treatment.

Dr Andy Hodson, Head of Clinical Leadership for the CCG, said: “Many local people who are at-risk of getting complications if they contract flu are still not claiming their free vaccination. Last year, the take up of the vaccine was lower than the national average, with just 37% of pregnant women and only 22% of children under 4 years old claiming the free flu vaccine they were entitled to.”

CCG Clinical Chair, Dr David Supple, said: “Many of us know how bad flu can be if you are reasonably healthy, but it can be worse for those at risk of complications and be potentially fatal in some extreme cases. We are urging those in our local community at real risk of falling very ill if they catch the flu to Roll Up and claim their free vaccine, to help them stay well this winter.”

Those who are eligible for the flu vaccine can contact their GP or pharmacist to claim their free flu jab. For more information on the symptoms of flu and treatment advice visit NHS Choices

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