Vaccinate yourself against flu this winter

Are you entitled to a free flu vaccination?

NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group is encouraging those eligible to get their flu vaccination and help minimise the spread of flu this winter.

Pregnant women, parents of children aged two and three years old, adults over 65, and those with underlying health conditions, or a learning disability are eligible for free flu vaccinations, either via their GP or pharmacist. These groups are at particular risk from flu, and the vaccination is still the best protection against an unpredictable virus.

Flu is a severe viral infection of the respiratory tract. It is a highly infectious illness which spreads rapidly in communities, and even people with mild or no symptoms can infect others. Flu is different to a common cold, and its symptoms include a fever, chills, headache, aching muscles and joint pain and fatigue.

Dr Anthony Gore, a GP and clinical director at Sheffield CCG, said: “For most healthy people, flu symptoms can make you feel exhausted and unwell and you have to stay in bed and rest until you get better, but for people with underlying health conditions, children, pregnant women or the elderly flu can be very serious.

“It’s really important that if you are offered a free flu jab you take up the offer. It is offered to these vulnerable groups of people because we know that they need it to stay well during the flu season. There is a common myth that the flu vaccination gives you flu - this isn’t true, the injected flu vaccination given to adults contains inactivated flu virus, so it can’t give you the flu.”

Visit nhs.uk for more details on flu symptoms and vaccinations, or contact your GP direct with questions or to book your vaccination.