Newham CCG chair and GP Dr Prakash Chandra’s flu jab reminder

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- Credit: Andrew Baker

Weather experts are forecasting the coldest winter on record for over 40 years.

People are more likely to catch the influenza (flu) virus.

For most healthy people, flu is an unpleasant experience, but for those in high risk groups it has the potential to be really serious – causing complications such as bronchitis, pneumonia and in some cases, sadly, even death.

The good thing is getting a flu jab every year will greatly reduce your chances of getting the flu. It is available free through GP practices for people who fall into groups who are the most at risk of serious complications from the flu. This includes:

•People aged 65 or over

•Pregnant women

•People with a long term condition such as a heart problem, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, a chest complaint or breathing difficulties including bronchitis or emphysema

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•People with a weakened immune system – for example patients taking steroids or undergoing treatment for cancer

•All children aged between two and four years old

•Carers for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill.

•Health and care workers who have direct patient contact.

All GP surgeries in the borough offer the jab free of charge to people who are at risk to make sure that they are protected against catching flu and developing serious complications.

The flu jab is safe, it’s free, and it can’t give you flu. The flu virus changes every year, to combat this the flu jab is updated. So, even if you had the jab last year, you will need it again.

Please look after your health by making the time to get your jab. If you are not in a high risk group and want to avoid the flu this year you can pop into a local pharmacy and pay for a jab. Talk to your GP or local pharmacy for more information.

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