Last year, over 30,00 older people across Bedfordshire and Luton failed to take up the offer of a free flue jab, leaving them vulnerable during the winter months. Many of those caught the virus, putting unnecessary stress on the NHS as a result.
Bedfordshire and Luton Clinical Commissioning Groups are urging residents aged 65 and over, to take up their free NHS flu vaccination before winter takes hold.
The last batches of the flu vaccine were delivered to GPs and pharmacies across the country last week ahead of the flu season, which usually starts in December.
A new vaccine which has been especially developed for over 65 year olds is available for the first time this winter and Public Health England believes that across England it could:
- Reduce GP consultations due to flu by 30,000
- Cut hospitalisations by over 2,000
- Prevent over 700 hospital deaths.
Heather Moulder, Acting Clinical Chair of Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “While flu is a common ailment and many people can get over it with rest and fluids, for some people in high-risk groups, such as the elderly and those with long-term conditions, it can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening complications, such as pneumonia or bronchitis.”
To find out if you’re one of the 22 million people who are eligible for the free flu vaccination, visit www.nhs.uk/staywell.