Don’t put off your flu vaccination this year – get vaccinated now is the message from North Yorkshire County Council and health professionals across the country.

Flu jabs are available free of charge for people aged 65 and over; anyone with a serious medical condition; and for people who are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person.

“Flu can be unpleasant, but if you are otherwise healthy it will usually clear up on its own within a week,” said County Councillor Caroline Dickinson, Executive Member for Public Health, Prevention and Supported Housing.

“However, flu can be more serious for some people; anyone aged 65 and over; pregnant women; children and adults with an underlying health condition, particularly long-term heart or respiratory disease. It’s also serious for children and adults with weakened immune systems.

“Anyone in these at-risk groups is more likely to develop potentially serious complications such as lung infections – including pneumonia – if they get flu, so it’s recommended that they have a flu jab every year to protect them. Please ask at your GP surgery or call into your local chemist to find out more about the free jab and if you’re eligible for one.”

Pregnant women, children aged two and three as well as school children from reception class through to year 4 are also eligible for the free flu vaccine – as a quick nasal spray, not an injection.

“Flu can be horrible for children and can spread to the whole family. It can cause serious complications during pregnancy and the flu jab is the safest way to protect you and your baby against flu,” added Cllr Dickinson. “You can have it at any stage of pregnancy, however fit and healthy you might feel.”

You are eligible to receive a free flu jab if you:

  • are 65 years of age or over;
  • are pregnant;
  • have certain medical conditions;
  • are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility; or
  • receive a carer’s allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill.

Children who are eligible, who will usually receive a nasal flu spray, are:

  • children over the age of six months with a long-term health condition;
  • children aged two and three on 31 August 2017 – that is, born between 1 September 2013 and 31 August 2015; or
  • children in reception class and school years one, two,  three and four.

Visit your GP or pharmacy to find out more.

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