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Flu has arrived in Stockport – Health & Council leaders urge residents to get vaccinated

NHS & council leaders bracing themselves for an increase in flu cases, are making an urgent call for those eligible for free flu vaccinations to get vaccinated as soon as possible

Flu has arrived in Stockport – Health & Council leaders urge residents to get vaccinated

The call follows a number of reports of cases of flu in Greater Manchester and an outbreak of flu at a school in Bolton. In Australia there has been the worse flu season in decades with many people dying as a result of the flu and it is expected the UK will also be hit hard.

The flu virus can affect all age groups, however older people and those with an underlying health condition can become seriously ill and be hospitalised and even die if they catch the virus.

It is not too late to get vaccinated and in line with national policy, Stockport Consultants, General Practitioners and Nurses recommend the flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. Flu vaccination reduces flu illnesses and can prevent flu-related hospitalisations.

Ann Barnes, chief executive of Stockport NHS Foundation Trust which runs Stepping Hill Hospital said:

“Flu can be a very serious illness for people in at risk groups such as those older people, pregnant women, people with chronic medical conditions or those with weakened immune systems. Every year we have to admit seriously ill patients to our hospital because of flu and we want to avoid that this year. We’re vaccinating our staff, and we urge everyone eligible to get their flu vaccination too.”

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

“To avoid outbreaks of flu across Stockport, we are urging individuals eligible for a free flu vaccine who haven’t had it yet to get one as soon as possible.
Last year we had a serious outbreak of flu in a couple of our schools in Stockport, which resulted in many staff and children being very poorly and the schools closing. It is worrying to hear of the school outbreak in Bolton and I would urge all parents to make sure they give consent for their children to receive the free painless nasal flu vaccination.”

“Dr Ranjit Gill, a local GP and Chief Clinical Officer of NHS Stockport Clinical Commissioning Group, added:

“Every few years we tend to get a particularly dangerous strain of flu circulating and this year looks like the year for it.
“That makes it even more important that you have your free NHS flu jab if you’re eligible for one. The NHS offers the vaccine free for good reason – if you’re in what we call an “at risk” group you’ve got a higher chance than most of suffering dangerous complications if you catch flu. Please don’t risk your health, get protected now.”

Stockport Residents eligible for a free flu vaccine delivered by their GP are:

  • individuals aged 65 year or over
  • pregnant women
  • children aged 2 and 3 years
  • registered carers

Individuals with the following 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)

Children in school years Reception and Years 1, 2, 3 and 4 will receive their vaccine at school.

For further information about the flu vaccine, visit www.nhs.uk/staywell or
www.stockport.gov.uk/stay-well-this-winter__