Eligible patients with a long term condition such as diabetes, asthma or a heart complaint still have time for an NHS flu vaccination to help keep them healthy.

Pregnant women, those aged over 65 and children aged 2 and 3 are also eligible for the free flu vaccine. And Oxford Health’s school nurse and immunisation teams have also been vaccinating school children from reception to Year. 6.

Dr Ed Capo-Bianco, Urgent Care Lead at Oxfordshire CCG said: “Eligible patients and in particular adults with an underlying health condition still have time to book an appointment with their GP practice for a free NHS flu vaccination if they haven’t already had a jab.”

Ed said: “Flu is not the same as getting a cold. It can seriously affect your health and the risks of developing complications are greater for some people. 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.”

Parents are asked to get their children aged 2 and 3 vaccinated against flu with a simple and quick nasal spray at their GP practice. Children are super-spreaders of flu, and by vaccinating them it reduces the risk of transmission to frail and elderly groups.

A free NHS flu vaccine is available for the following groups:
• People aged 65 years and over
• Patients aged from six months to 65 years in clinical ‘at risk’ groups (see below)
• Pregnant women
• Children in primary school
• People in long-stay residential care homes
• Carers
• People in close contact with patients with impaired immune systems
• Social care and hospice workers who provide direct patient care
• Health and social care staff, employed by a registered residential care/nursing home or registered home care provider

The free flu vaccine is available to patients who have one of the following conditions:

  • heart problem
  • 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
  • stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
  • diabetes
  • neurological condition e.g. multiple sclerosis
  • morbid obesity (BMI over 40)
  • cerebral palsy or a learning disability.

For more information on the NHS flu vaccine visit: https://www.oxfordshireccg.nhs.uk/