GP says patients who fail to get free flu vaccine risk lives following Australian flu deaths

GP says patients who fail to get free flu vaccine risk lives following Australian flu deaths

Patients are being urged to ensure they get their free flu vaccination this year amid fears the UK could follow in the footsteps of Australia’s flu outbreak.

Numerous deaths have now been recorded in Australia as a result of flu and Dr Jonathan Cope, managing GP partner at Beacon Medical Group, is warning the UK could see a similar trend.

“The flu situation in Australia usually acts as a good indicator as to what is going to happen in this country and, given the seriousness of this year’s strain, there is no room for complacency. If you are eligible for the free vaccine I urge you to please make an appointment and help protect yourself and those around your from a potentially deadly illness.

“Getting the flu vaccine is something we can all do to protect ourselves, our family and friends. I have the jab every year— it’s quick and easy, and the best time to have it is now before winter truly sets in.

“Flu can be serious, as the situation in Australia at the moment has shown, and I don’t want patients to run that risk when they could protect themselves by having a simple vaccination. You can carry and pass the virus on to others without having any symptoms yourself, so even if you consider yourself healthy, you might be risking the lives of others.”

Beacon Medical Group has a number of scheduled Saturday flu clinics running throughout this month at Plympton Health Centre and Ivybridge Methodist Church from 9.30am – 5.30pm, for all eligible patients aged 18+ registered at any of its five practices.

Patients are advised to call 01752 346634 to book an appointment.

For more information please visit www.beaconmedicalgroup.nhs.uk/fluclinics2017

Below is a summary of those who are eligible and recommended to have the flu vaccine:
• everyone aged 65 and over
• everyone under 65 years of age who has any of the following medical conditions, including children and babies over six months of age:

– a heart problem
– a chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including bronchitis, emphysema or severe asthma
– a kidney disease
– lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (such as steroid medication or cancer treatment)
– liver disease
– had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
– diabetes
– a neurological condition, eg multiple sclerosis (MS), cerebral palsy or learning disability
– a problem with your spleen, eg sickle cell disease, or you have had your spleen removed
– are seriously overweight (BMI of 40 and above)

• all pregnant women, at any stage of pregnancy
• all two- and three- year-old children
• all children in reception class and school years 1, 2, 3 and 4
• all primary school-aged children in some parts of the country
• everyone living in a residential or nursing home
• everyone who is the main carer for an older or disabled person
• household contacts of anyone who is immunocompromised
• all frontline health and social care workers

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