Public Urged to Fight Flu
Published 07 October 2014
The annual flu immunisation programme in Wales is now underway in time for the coming flu season, and those in ‘at risk’ groups are being urged by authorities to take up their free vaccination as soon as possible.
Last year, only 51% of people categorised as ‘at risk’ protected themselves against what can be a deadly virus, which can and does kill every year. People particularly at risk of flu and its complications are given the vaccine at no cost.
People in ‘at risk’ groups – including those aged 65 or over, pregnant women and those with certain long term health conditions – are urged to protect themselves as early as possible before flu starts circulating widely. Parents of children aged 2, 3 or 4, and those in school Year 7, are also being urged to have their child vaccinated for free in the form of a nasal spray.
Health officials warn that even if you had the vaccine last year, the flu virus changes every year, so a new vaccine is needed again in order to be protected.
Dr Richard Roberts, Head of the Vaccine Preventable Diseases Programme at Public Health Wales, said: “Flu is a serious illness caused by a virus that affects the lungs and airways. Symptoms generally come on suddenly, and can include fever, chills, headache, cough, muscle aches and fatigue. For people with underlying health conditions, flu can even be deadly.
“Flu cannot be treated, but it can be prevented by having the vaccine. Make sure you don’t put yourself at risk by missing this potentially life-saving opportunity.”
You can find out more by visiting www.beatflu.org or www.curwchffliw.org, or joining the campaign on Twitter and Facebook.