Public Health England (PHE) and the NHS’s joint Stay Well This Winter campaign has been officially launched today to encourage residents across the country to get the flu vaccination.
The Stay Well This Winter campaign aims to help you prepare for winter, so you avoid having to visit hospital due to common winter illnesses.
People who are the most vulnerable to flu are being urged to get their free vaccination, ahead of the winter period when the virus is most common. The programme launches as the Chief Medical Officer has warned that flu, and complications associated with it, cause 8,000 deaths on average a year in England.
Jo Broadbent, Deputy Director for Healthcare Public Health and Workforce at PHE East of England said: “For many people flu is an unpleasant illness but for the most vulnerable in society – small children, the elderly, those with long-term health problems and pregnant women – it can be extremely dangerous.
“Getting the vaccine is simply the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from catching flu and I would urge anyone who is offered the vaccine,including healthcare workers, to take up the offer to protect themselves and others in their care, for the coming winter season.”
This year’s campaign aims to continue to increase uptake of the flu vaccination.
Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer said: “Flu kills and we could save thousands of lives if everyone eligible got their free jab. With more people eligible than ever before and the vaccine available in more locations, people should protect themselves and those around them against this potentially deadly virus. Taking a few minutes to get the jab could save your life this winter.”
To get your vaccine or find out if you are eligible, contact your GP, pharmacist or midwife for more information. Visit nhs.uk/staywell for more details on how to help you and your family to stay well this winter.
Staff at the James Paget University Hospital have been among the first to get their flu vaccinations as part of our Flu Bee campaign.