Executive Leader Cllr Kieran Quinn

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Councillor Kieran Quinn

Are you eligible for a free flu jab?

Friday, 08 September 2017

September already, can you believe it?

You may already have noticed some of the signs of September. The yellowing of leaves on the trees, colder temperatures, shorter days and of course the arrival of Christmas stock in many shops! It’s at this time of year where the Council and our partner agencies also start to adapt our practices and put in place systems and measures that respond to the seasonal risks of autumn and winter.

For the Council these will mean refocusing our greenspace resources on tidying up leaf litter and checking that we have adequate stocks of grit to see us through until spring. For the police it means that they look to deploy officers to respond to the heightened risks of anti-social behaviour and burglary owing to the darker nights. And in the case of the NHS it means that they will be running their annual winter flu jab campaign to maximise uptake and ensure that all vulnerable groups are protected from the illness. The Council is also using its profile to support the NHS in promoting the uptake of the flu jab locally.

It is estimated that several million people get flu each winter, leading to thousands of NHS intensive care admissions across the UK. Reducing transmission by encouraging vaccination can slash the number of GP appointments that are filled and cut the number of unplanned hospital admissions that place pressure on the NHS. Given the recent news that the NHS requires a £350 million bailout in order to manage the winter pressures it is expecting, and until the government decides whether or not it will oblige, if we can do anything to reduce the demand on our health service we should. In this context getting your flu jab is a no-brainer.

Anyone can catch flu but residents aged 65 and over, working as informal carers, suffering a long-term health condition or going through pregnancy are eligible for a free vaccination. This is because these groups are either particularly vulnerable to illness and complications, or could spread the infection to others who are at risk. Young children also need an inoculation – but no needles are involved, it comes in the form of a nasal spray.

GP practices in Tameside and Glossop will be opening their flu clinics from next week. Get in touch with your doctor or local pharmacy to find out where and when you can get your jab or spray.

Posted by: Kieran Quinn

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