The annual flu vaccination campaign has been launched in Oxfordshire and people are being invited to get their vaccination against the virus.

A flu vaccine is available for free on the NHS for the following:

  • People aged 65 years and over
  • Patients aged from six months to 65 years in clinical ‘at risk’ groups (see below)
  • Pregnant women
  • All children aged two to nine (but not 10 years or older) on 31 August 2018
  • People in long-stay residential care homes
  • Carers

Dr Edward Capo-Bianco, Clinical Locality Director at Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “People aged over 65, pregnant women and people aged under 65 with a long term condition such as diabetes or heart disease will be invited to attend flu clinics at their GP surgery to get a free NHS flu vaccination. It is quick and easy to have and is the best form of protection for them and others.

“The flu is not the same as getting a cold.  It can seriously affect your health and the risks of developing complications are greater for people within the ‘at-risk’ groups. Healthy individuals usually recover within two to seven days, but for some the disease can lead to a stay in hospital, permanent disability or even death.”

Ed added: “Flu can be serious for young children, help protect them from flu with one simple nasal spray. It is free, fast and painless. Children are also super-spreaders of the flu, by vaccinating them we can reduce the risk of transmission to the frail and at risk groups.”

Notes to editors:

Children eligible for the flu vaccine 2018:

  • Children aged two to three years will have the vaccination as a nasal spray in GP practices.
  • Children in school years reception to and including Year 5 – these children will receive the nasal spray vaccination in schools from immunisation teams.
  • All other children with a health condition that puts them at greater risk from flu.

At risk conditions:

The free flu vaccine is available to patients who have one of the following  conditions: a heart problem, a chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including bronchitis, emphysema or severe asthma, kidney disease, lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (such as steroid medication or cancer treatment), liver disease, had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA), diabetes, neurological condition e.g. multiple sclerosis (MS), morbid obesity (BMI over 40), cerebral palsy or learning disability.

For more information on the NHS flu vaccine visit www.nhs.uk or https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/