Have a flu jab - health officials urge East Devon

PUBLIC health officials at NHS Devon have reminded at-risk groups not to forget to have a free seasonal flu vaccination at their GP surgery.

PUBLIC health officials at NHS Devon have reminded at-risk groups not to forget to have a free seasonal flu vaccination at their GP surgery.

But they stressed that the seasonal flu jab will not protect people against the common cold, other winter viruses or swine flu.

People who are over 65, live in a residential or nursing home, or have a chronic illness such as diabetes, heart disease or other long-term condition, could be at risk of serious illnesses, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, if they catch seasonal flu.

Carers are also eligible for the seasonal flu jab so that they stay healthy to continue to help those they look after.

Tracy Fabiano, immunisation coordinator for NHS Devon, said: "With the winter season approaching we urge eligible individuals to take up this important vaccine.

"Anyone who has underlying health conditions or is over 65 should make an appointment with their GP to have their seasonal flu jab, even if they are feeling healthy."

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The Influenza vaccination is an annual vaccination programme and is available to people over 65 and those over 6 months in one of the following clinical risk groups:

* people with a heart problem

* people with a chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including bronchitis and emphysema

* people with kidney disease

* people with lowered immunity due to disease of treatment (such as steroid medication or cancer treatment)

* people with a liver disease

* people that have had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA)

* people with diabetes

* people with a neurologic condition such as multiple sclerosis (MS) or cerebral palsy

* people that have a problem with, or the removal of the spleen, for example sickle cell disease

* poultry workers.

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