NHS commissioners in Berkshire launch animation as part of flu campaign this year
NHS commissioners in East Berkshire have today (14/10) launched a short animation video as part of its efforts to raise awareness of how people can best protect themselves from flu this winter.
The animation, which is set to be shared with local GP practices, patients, partner agencies and the wider public, highlights the importance of why people should have the flu vaccination, particularly those who are eligible for it FREE on the NHS.
Flu occurs every year and is a highly infectious disease with symptoms that come on very quickly. Having your flu vaccination can help protect you and others.
Some people are more susceptible to the effects of flu. For them, it can increase the risk of developing more serious illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia, or can make existing conditions worse. In the worst case, flu can result in a hospital stay or even death.
The best way to avoid catching and spreading flu is by having the vaccination before the flu season starts.
The flu vaccination is available free on the NHS for various groups and individuals that could be particularly vulnerable to complications.
This year, the following are eligible for the free flu vaccination:
- All children aged two to ten (but not eleven years or older) on 31 August 2019
- Pregnant women
- Those aged 65 and over
- Those in long-stay residential care homes
- Healthcare workers
- People with learning disabilities and their carers
- Those aged six months to under 65 years of age with a serious medical condition which include chronic (long term) respiratory disease, such as severe asthma; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchitis; chronic heart disease, such as heart failure; chronic kidney disease at stage three, four or five; chronic liver disease; chronic neurological disease such as Parkinson’s disease or motor neurone disease, or learning disability; diabetes; splenic dysfunction; weakened immune system due to disease (such as HIV/AIDS) or treatment (such as cancer treatment); morbidly obese (defined as BMI of 40 and above)
If you do not fall within any of the above groups, you can still have the vaccination by paying for it at your local pharmacist.
The most common symptoms of flu are fever, chills, headache, extreme tiredness and aches and pains in the joints and muscles. Healthy individuals usually recover within a week, but for some the disease can lead to hospitalisation. If you do get the flu make sure you rest, drink plenty of fluids and eat healthily.
Taking over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to reduce any fever or discomfort, can also help.
Flu is caused by influenza viruses and not bacteria. Therefore, antibiotics will not help to treat it. However, if there are complications from getting flu, antibiotics may be needed.
When an infected person coughs or sneezes, they spread the flu virus in tiny droplets of saliva over a wide area. These droplets can then be breathed in by other people or they can be picked up by touching surfaces where the droplets have landed. You can prevent the spread of the virus by covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and washing your hands frequently or using hand gels to reduce the risk of picking up the virus.
Associate Director for Nursing and Quality, Jo Greengrass, from the East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), said: “Getting your flu vaccine is easy. Simply call and book an appointment with your doctor, midwife or pharmacy.
“Some GP surgeries across East Berkshire are offering flu clinics on certain dates/ times for those who are eligible for the free vaccine, so it would be worth you checking these details by either calling your practice or by visiting their website. Some surgeries are sending out invitations to attend these clinics.
She added: “If you have a long term condition such as asthma, diabetes, a neurological disease or chronic liver, kidney or lung disease, or indeed if you are pregnant, then protecting yourself against flu is vital.
“Flu can also be serious for young children and because they mix with so many family members they are called ‘superspreaders’. For these reasons, we feel it is really important for them to be vaccinated to protect themselves and those around them.”
This year, children in Reception to Year 6 will be offered the free flu vaccination in the form of a nasal spray in schools. Children aged two to three will continue to have their vaccine by their GP.
The strain of flu can change each year so even if you were vaccinated last year, you are being advised to vaccinate again this year.
This is the first of a series of press releases to be published by the East Berkshire CCG as part of their on-going efforts to ensure people Stay Well this winter.
East Berkshire CCG would like to thank East Berkshire Primary Care (EBPC) for creating the animation.
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