That’s the message from the NHS this autumn, as millions of people in ‘at risk’ groups are invited to get themselves vaccinated against the seasonal virus.
That is why GP surgeries across North East Hampshire and Farnham have been contacting people within those groups to arrange for them to have the free flu jab.
Details of who is eligible for the free vaccine can be found here: www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/who-should-have-flu-vaccine/
NHS North East Hampshire and Farnham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) plans and pays for the majority of health services delivered to the area’s 228,000 people.
Dr Peter Bibawy, the CCG’s Clinical Chair and a GP in Aldershot, said: “Flu may be a common winter bug but that doesn’t mean we should take it lightly.
“It poses serious risks to many people whose immune systems are already weaker, which is why we ask people in certain groups, or their parent or carer, to have the vaccine.
“We can’t affect how severe the coming winter is going to be but getting vaccinated is one way of ensuring we’re properly prepared for whatever winter throws at us.
“I would urge anyone eligible for the free flu vaccine to contact their GP surgery - if they haven’t already been contacted - to find out when they can have the jab.”
Primary school children will usually receive the nasal spray form of the vaccine at special flu clinics at their schools, while parents of younger children will be invited to bring them to their GP surgery.
Anyone who isn’t eligible for the free flu jab can still get vaccinated at their local pharmacy for a small fee. They will need to check with the pharmacy as to the cost and whether they need to make an appointment.