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Be in‘flu’ential in the fight against winter illness

Eligible residents across Chorley, South Ribble and Greater Preston are being encouraged to take up the offer of a free flu vaccination this winter.

The single vaccination is offered, free of charge to people who are most at risk of complications from flu, including people aged 65 and over, those with long term conditions, and pregnant women.

Children aged 2, 3 and up to year 4 in schools are also offered the free vaccine, received through a nasal spray.

Local GP Dr Richard Kelsall said: “Flu is a highly unpleasant disease and can lead to serious complications for some people.

“Because the strain of flu changes each year, the vaccine also changes to provide immunity. So, even if you have had one previously, you still need to have it again this year to be protected.”

Frontline staff at NHS organisations across Chorley, South Ribble and Greater Preston are also doing their bit in the fight against flu this winter, with Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust offering free flu jabs to staff.

Karen Partington, Chief Executive from Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “Our hospitals are full of unwell people who could become seriously ill if they got the flu. Our staff are committed to protecting our patients by protecting themselves and almost 40% of our staff have already been vaccinated.”

At Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, James Harper is one of the over 20% of staff who have already been vaccinated. He said: “Supporting the health and wellbeing of others starts with looking after your own health. I have the flu jab to protect myself and the ones I love, why risk it?”

Dr Kelsall added: “These vaccinations provide vital protection for the whole community, and by getting a flu vaccine, you’ll be doing your bit to help keep everyone well this winter. If you believe you, or a loved one, are eligible to receive a vaccination, contact your GP surgery.”

The flu vaccine is just one of the ways you can stay well this winter. For more information on how to avoid winter illnesses, visit www.nhs.uk/staywell (external link).

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