Dr Colin Patterson.jpgThis year the free NHS flu vaccination is also being offered to people aged 50-64 and GP practices will be contacting their patients throughout December to arrange appointments.

The flu jab is one of the best ways to help keep yourself well over the winter months so it’s great news that the annual programme has been expanded to widen the age range. We know a lot of people in this age group have been keen to get it and will be pleased it’s now available to them.

Every year the flu jab is offered to people over 65 and to other vulnerable groups and it offers important protection. Prevention is always our preferred option in fighting the flu virus so we fully welcome the expansion of the programme this year.

People within the 50-64 age category will be contacted this month and invited to flu clinics. Please be aware however that these appointments will be spaced out across the month of December to ensure appropriate supplies and also enable relevant covid safety procedures and social distancing measures.

Remember you can also contact your local pharmacy to book an appointment to receive your flu jab and they should be able to advise on their availability accordingly.

Please be patient with this process, remember this year practices and pharmacies have been working extra hard under difficult circumstances to ensure your safety throughout the covid pandemic.

Clinically vulnerable patients are always prioritised first with the flu vaccine because unfortunately some higher risks groups are more likely to develop potentially serious complications of flu, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. If you are in an ‘at risk’ group and still not received your flu jab - it is not too late - please contact your GP or local pharmacist to arrange this.

Visit: http://nhs.uk/staywell for more information.

Further information is also available about the flu jab in easy read formats and other languages here: https://northcumbriaccg.nhs.uk/flu

If you need medical advice you can also contact NHS 111 for free 24 hours a day, seven days a week or visit their website: 111.nhs.uk



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