Flu is spreading in Stockport - It’s not too late to get vaccinated

The Council and local NHS are making an urgent call for residents eligible for free flu vaccinations to get vaccinated as soon as possible following a sharp rise in flu cases.

Flu is spreading in Stockport - It’s not too late to get vaccinated

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 as the flu season runs well into the spring and the vaccine is still available at GP practices and pharmacists.

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

“As we would expect at this time of year, the number of flu cases has increased, more people are visiting GPs with flu symptoms and we have seen more than 40 residents admitted to Stepping Hill Hospital since the beginning of January. I would urge any residents who are eligible for a free flu vaccine to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

Mahu Reddy, Clinical Director and Consultant at Stepping Hill Hospital’s Emergency Department (A&E) said:
“We had over 200 people admitted to hospital 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.”

Dr Donna Sager, Stockport Council’s Director of Public Health said:

“The flu vaccine is the best defence we have against the spread of flu and it isn’t too late to get vaccinated.
To further limit the spread of flu anybody suffering with flu-like symptoms should catch coughs or sneezes in tissues and bin them immediately. They should also wash their hands regularly with soap and warm water and frequently clean regularly used surfaces such as door handles. Avoid having unnecessary contact with other people if you or they have symptoms of flu.”

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

Other groups eligible for a free vaccination include

Pregnant women
Registered Carers
Paid social carers (on production of their employers ID or payslip)

Healthcare workers should receive the jab via their employer.
Children aged 2 and 3 and older children with an underlying health condition receive their nasal flu vaccination from their GP

For further information about the flu vaccine, visit www.nhs.uk/fluvaccine