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Pregnant women urged to have flu jab
PREGNANT women and other vulnerable people are being urged to have free flu jabs as winter approaches.
Wiltshire Council is working with NHS Wiltshire to promote the free vaccine to pregnant women.
Keith Humphries, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for public health and protection, said: “The vaccine is there to help the at-risk groups in our communities, but people can help protect themselves against the flu virus by following the advice, carrying tissues and keeping good hand hygiene.” Maggie Rae, director of public health said.
“We are encouraging all pregnant women to have this year’s seasonal flu jab, even if they had one last year. The jab is free to all pregnant women from their GP as pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to complications caused by flu. The seasonal flu jab is safe to have at any stage in pregnancy.”
Other groups are also eligible for vaccination. These include the over-65s, babies, children, young people and adults with certain medical conditions, long-stay residents in nursing and residential homes and people who receive carers’ allowance or who care for an elderly or a disabled resident.
Letters will be sent out from GP surgeries inviting these individuals to be vaccinated. If people fall under one of these groups and have not heard from their GP, they should contact them directly.
For the first time this year, all two and three-year-olds are being offered the Fluenz nasal spray rather than an injection.
This programme will be rolled out to all children aged between two and 17, over the next few years. People who contract the influenza virus often develop a sudden fever, muscle aches and pains, sweating, sneezing, exhaustion, the need to lie down, and a dry, chesty cough.
Wiltshire Council is also vaccinating some of its frontline staff to make sure all services stay available. For more information on flu and the vaccine, visit nhs.uk/fluandthefluvaccine.aspx.
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