Don’t end up in hospital as a result of the flu

Stockport Council and the local NHS are calling on residents who have an underlying health condition to get their free flu vaccination as soon as possible.

Don’t end up in hospital as a result of the flu

Last year around 300 Stockport residents were admitted to Stepping Hill Hospital due to complications from catching the flu. Most of these were people who had underlying health conditions. A number were hospitalised over the Christmas period itself.

Mahu Reddy, Clinical Director and Consultant at Stepping Hill Hospital’s Emergency Department (A&E) said:
“It is likely that the flu season will properly hit us in the next few weeks. We had a number of people coming to our A&E with the flu last year, and we really want to avoid that this season. Anyone can catch the flu, but for those who already have a chronic underlying health condition such as diabetes or asthma, it can be potentially life threatening and result in hospitalisation. If you’re eligible for a free flu jab, then please contact your GP or pharmacist to arrange it as soon as possible.”

Councillor Tom McGee, Stockport Council’s Cabinet Member for Health said:

“We want all residents who are entitled to a free flu vaccination to get protected. The flu vaccine is not just important for older people but it is vital that those with an underlying health condition get it too. Ending up in hospital is very traumatic not only for the individuals concerned but also their loved ones too. Don’t risk your and your families‘ Christmas being ruined by the flu.”

Dr Cath Briggs, GP and Clinical Chair of NHS Stockport CCG said:

“It’s essential that people don’t forget how devastating flu can be. The NHS offers the vaccine free to certain groups of people for good reason. If you have a chronic health condition you’ve got a higher chance than most of suffering dangerous complications if you catch flu.

“This year’s vaccination is highly effective and will protect you against all the types of flu that may be around. So please don’t risk your health, book in for your jab now and get protected.”

The flu vaccine is available for FREE at GP surgeries and pharmacies for people who have the following underlying health conditions

• Chronic respiratory disease (e.g. severe asthma, obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis)
• Chronic heart disease
• Chronic kidney disease
• Chronic liver disease
• Neurological disease
• Diabetes
• Splenic Dysfunction
• A weakened immune system, due to disease (such as HIV/AIDS) or treatment (e.g. cancer treatment)
• Those with a BMI over 40

For further information about the flu vaccine and other groups eligible for a free flu vaccine visit www.nhs.uk/fluvaccine