NHS makes new flu vaccine appeal

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THE NHS is urging at-risk patients who have not yet had a flu vaccine to get the jab.

Health officials are renewing their pleas for vulnerable people to get protected as the flu season continues.

Those entitled to a free vaccine on the NHS include the over-65s; adults and children with long-term health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, more severe forms of asthma, MS and serious kidney and liver disease; pregnant women no matter what stage they are at; and carers of vulnerable patients.

Dr Ruth Milton, director of public health for NHS Hampshire, said: 'We are strongly advising people deemed to be more at-risk to take the necessary precautions and get themselves an appointment at their GP for a flu vaccination.

'We know that some practices have plenty of vaccination supplies and some need further stocks due to additional demand.

'Practices are working together to share the supplies of vaccine so people in at risk groups can have a vaccination.

'GP practices are also now able to offer the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccination that was developed last year.'

She added: 'If you are not in an at risk group you don't need to worry about having a vaccination.

'If you are normally fit and healthy then your body will be better able to fight the flu virus.'

Anyone with flu symptoms is advised to stay at home, keep warm, rest, drink plenty of fluids and go to bed if needed.