Stockport Leading the Way for Protecting Against Flu

Stockport’s GPs, nurses and midwives are once again the best in Greater Manchester (GM) for immunising people against flu.

It comes after Stockport topped the Flu Vaccination league with over 98,000 Stockport residents being vaccinated against the flu, the highest number ever recorded in the borough.

Leading the fight for the Council this winter, Stockport Council’s Health Protection Team is rolling out a programme of vaccinations across the borough, helping to protect our most vulnerable residents.

The Health Protection Team said: “It is important we build on the success of last seasons flu vaccination campaign, ensuring all our eligible residents have the opportunity to have the vaccine. This season, those adults aged over 65 are going to get a vaccine that has shown to be more effective for our elderly population as it produces a better immune response to help them fight the flu virus.”

Several Council Members including the Mayor and Councillor Jude Wells received their flu vaccinations last week.

Councillor Wells, Stockport Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social care, said: “To avoid outbreaks of flu across Stockport, we are urging people eligible for a free NHS flu jab to protect themselves and their loved ones by contacting their GP or pharmacy to arrange their annual flu vaccine. The flu jab is very safe and painless, as I’m in one of the target groups I’ve just had mine.”

Eligible groups for free vaccination:

• All children aged two and three
• Children in reception class and years 1 to 6 (in schools)
• Those aged six months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups;
o Chronic respiratory diseases
o Chronic heart disease
o Chronic kidney disease
o Chronic liver disease
o Chronic neurological disease
o Diabetes
o A weakened immune system
o Splenic Dysfunction
• Obese (BMI > 40)
• Pregnant women
• Those aged 65 years and over
• Those in long-stay residential care homes or other long-stay care facility
• Carers
• Health and social care staff

The flu vaccine for children is a pain-free nasal spray and has been given to millions of children worldwide and has an excellent safety record. Children with a long term health condition should also have a flu vaccination because flu can be really serious, especially for children with medical conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Also, protecting your child can stop flu spreading to other children and their family, especially babies and grandparents, who may be at a higher risk from flu.

Vaccinating health and social care staff will help to protect the vulnerable people they are caring for, by reducing the risk of them bringing the virus into the home, and spreading it amongst the residents or service users. Vaccinated staff are also less likely to need to take time off from work due to having the flu, which will help to ease staffing and financial pressures over the winter. Flu in a care home could spread rapidly through unvaccinated staff and residents, leading to a potential outbreak. An outbreak of flu in a care home could prove costly both financially and in terms of health.

Pregnant women are more prone to complications from flu that can cause serious illness for both mother and baby. If you’re pregnant (regardless of the stage of the pregnancy) or have recently delivered, you should also have the flu jab.

If you’re in an ‘at-risk’ group, please contact your GP or local pharmacy to arrange your annual flu vaccination.

For further information about the flu vaccine, click here.