New flu vaccine to help over 65s and ease pressure on local NHS

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Over 65? You qualify for the new and improved NHS flu vaccine this year. Help the NHS and yourself by reducing the impact of the virus on yourself and Wolverhampton health care system significantly.

Winter is extremely difficult for the NHS across the country, especially on A&E departments and local GP surgeries as they cope with the annual rise in numbers of people seeking treatment.

Last year saw nearly 10,000 people ending up in hospital in England due to flu, with the highest number of cases reported in people aged over 65 years. Those requiring hospital care, due to the flu caused an avoidable extra strain on the NHS, costing the NHS millions of pounds.

Local doctors believe this could have been avoided had those eligible taken up the opportunity to get their free jab. Just over 68 per cent of over 65 year olds in the area had the free flu jab last year, which means thousands went unprotected and were at risk of complications, if they caught the virus. This year they will get the new and improved aTIV flu jab, which improves the body’s immune response to the vaccine.

Dr Salma Reehana, Chair at Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The coming winter could really tough for the NHS and local staff are doing everything they can to prepare for the extra pressures we expect and ensure our communities stay well this winter. Now we are calling on the public to play their part and get the free flu jab if they are eligible.

“The new vaccine for over 65 year olds could reduce GP flu consultations and hospitalisations, freeing up busy NHS staff to provide care for those in most need. We are calling on those eligible to claim their free flu jab so they don’t add unnecessary pressures to local health and care services.

“The flu vaccine is in stock now and those aged over 65 years old should contact their GP practice to claim their free flu jab.”

Find out more about the flu vaccine at www.nhs.uk