Portsmouth health bosses urge people to get vaccinated as flu cases increase

BOSSES from the city’s hospital are urging people to protect themselves and their families from flu to avoid getting ill over the Christmas holidays.

Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 8:49 pm

Health chiefs at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust (PHT) want people, particularly those in the ‘at risk’ groups, to get the vaccination and clinics, trolley dashes and jabathons are being held across the hospital this week in a bid to drive up vaccination rates even further.

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Medical director John Knighton said: ‘Flu cases are on the increase across the country, but there is still time to be vaccinated in this area before the likely peak in our community over the next few weeks.

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Flu vaccine. Picture: PA

‘This week in particular, before Christmas and New Year, is the best time to see your GP and get the vaccine, especially if you are in a high risk group.’

More than 70 per cent of frontline staff are already vaccinated to help protect their patients, colleagues, loved ones and themselves.

In order to help improve staff access to the vaccine, the Trust also increased its number of workplace vaccinators from 44 in 2018 to over 90 this year.

Chief nurse Liz Rix, who is also a workplace vaccinator, said: ‘Our workplace vaccinators have done a brilliant job vaccinating over 5,000 staff so far from all over the Trust.

‘We want to protect our patients, protect our families and protect each other from flu and you can help us by getting your flu jab as soon as possible.’

For some people flu can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia. The vaccine is also important to though you may not be at risk yourself, you can still pass the virus on to someone who is more vulnerable.

Free NHS flu vaccines are available for the following groups;

- Children aged two and three,

- Primary school aged children

- Adults aged 65 or over

- Pregnant woman

- People living with certain medical conditions including asthma or other respiratory

conditions

- Those living in care homes

- Those caring for an elderly or disabled person

To find out more about the flu virus, symptoms and treatment visit nhs.uk/conditions/flu/