'Don't risk your health by declining this' - Vulnerable Suffolk people urged to get flu jab
PUBLISHED: 16:56 22 September 2017
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Doctors anticipating a severe outbreak of flu this winter are desperately urging vulnerable people in Suffolk to get vaccinated against the virus.
For most people a bout of flu will result in symptoms such as headaches, aches, pains and tiredness, but for others it can have serious consequences, leading to existing health conditions getting worse or the development of an illness such as bronchitis or pneumonia.
A free flu jab is available for people considered to be more of a risk, such as pregnant women, over 65s, carers, care home residents, people with certain health conditions and young children.
Dr Mark Shenton, a GP in Stowmarket and chairman of NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Australia is currently in the grip of its worst flu outbreak on record. The global circulation of the virus means that the seriousness of this outbreak could be reflected in the UK over the winter months. In a country with around one-third of the population of the UK, Australia has already experienced more than 50 flu-related deaths and 1,500 flu-related hospital admissions.
“It is more important than ever for vulnerable people to contact their GP practice and arrange to have a flu vaccination.
“By doing so you could avoid the deterioration of a long-term health condition, an unnecessary stay in hospital or even death. You’ll also be helping the already stretched NHS cope during the busy winter months.”
Dr Christopher Browning, a GP in Long Melford and chairman of NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Flu is a highly infectious viral illness which is spread by coughing and sneezing.
“Getting protected is quick and simple and the vaccination will help protect you against this potentially serious condition.
“GP practices will be offering flu vaccinations to their patients over the coming weeks. Don’t risk your health by declining this offer of protection.”
Doctors’ surgeries across the county will be hosting walk-in and appointment-only flu clinics over the coming weeks.