31/10/2017 - Permalink

Looking after someone who could not manage without your help? Ask about a free flu vaccination today

Related topics: Adult social care / Health

Health organisations across Shropshire are urging those who care for an older person, or  person with disabilities, to stay well this winter, and protect themselves and the person they care for against flu by asking their GP or pharmacist about the free vaccine.

Nurse photo - re flu jab campaign

Stay well this winter

Flu can be far more serious for the person you care for than you think. It can lead to serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and could even land them in hospital. The flu jab is the best way to protect yourself and the person you care for from flu.

Many pharmacies across Shropshire offer the free flu vaccination, and the list can be found by clicking here.

Dr Irfan Ghani, Shropshire Council’s public health consultant, said:

“Flu is a highly infectious disease and can lead to serious complications, particularly for those who are older or have disabilities. I would urge all carers to speak to their GP or pharmacist about the free flu jab and protect themselves, as well as the person they care for.”

Lee Chapman, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for health, adult social care and housing, and chair of Shropshire’s Health and Well-Being Board, added:

If you are caring for someone, falling ill can become a worry. I would like to encourage all carers to ask their GP or pharmacist about the free flu vaccination to help keep themselves well, as well as the person you are caring for.”

For more information on how to stay well this winter, visit https://www.nhs.uk/staywell/.

For more information and support about caring please visit https://www.shropshirechoices.org.uk/icareforsomeone/

Further information

  • Last winter 1,531 people were hospitalised because of flu in a network of 22 trusts in England
  • 1,064 people were admitted to Intensive Care Unit/ a High Dependency Unit as a result of flu in 2016/17 across the UK during the flu season, of whom 133 died.
  • There was a 19% decrease in flu related deaths between 2015/16 and 2016/17
  • Approximately 8,000 deaths occur annually due to flu related complications. Of these deaths, it is estimated that around 2,500 are people with a heart disease and 3,500 people with a respiratory disease.
  • Flu is an acute viral infection of the respiratory tract (nose, mouth, throat, bronchial tubes and lungs). It is a highly infectious illness which spreads rapidly in closed communities and even people with mild or no symptoms can infect others.
  • Flu is characterised by a fever, chills, headache, aching muscles and joint pain and fatigue. For most healthy people, flu symptoms can make you feel so exhausted and unwell that you have to stay in bed and rest until you get better.
  • Flu is caught through droplets of saliva that spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can then be breathed in by other people or they can be picked up by touching surfaces where the droplets have landed.