People are being encouraged to get protected against the flu this winter - by ensuring they are vaccinated as soon as possible.

Flu is a highly infectious disease and can lead to serious complications for people who have long term health conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis, emphysema, diabetes, heart, kidney or liver disease or who have suffered a stroke.

People with these and other long term health conditions are eligible for a free flu vaccination through their GP or pharmacist.

The over 65s, carers and care staff, people in long stay residential care homes and pregnant women are also eligible for a free vaccine. In addition, children aged two and three as well as pupils from Reception through to Year 5 and those with certain long-term health conditions are offered a free vaccination delivered via a quick and painless Fluenz nasal spray.

People who are not eligible for a free vaccination can still get vaccinated at many local pharmacies for a small charge.

Councillor Hazel Malcolm, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Several million people get flu each winter and, while for most of us it is just extremely unpleasant, for those with long term health conditions it can prove incredibly dangerous - with many needing hospital treatment.

"With flu season rapidly approaching, it is vitally important that anyone who is deemed to be at risk takes this opportunity and gets their free vaccination as soon as possible.

"Flu can be particularly horrible for small children who can develop a very high fever or complications such as bronchitis or pneumonia. The vaccine can help protect your child and reduce the chance of flu spreading to friends and family, and the good news for children is that it is administered via a nasal spray.

"The vaccination is also the best way to protect pregnant mothers and their unborn babies, and you can have it at any stage of pregnancy, however fit and healthy you might feel.

"I would also encourage people who are in contact with or work with vulnerable people to consider getting themselves vaccinated to protect themselves and the people they care for.

"The message is clear; whether you are eligible for a free vaccination or not, please ensure you get yourself protected as soon as possible, before the flu season strikes."

For more information about the flu vaccination, please visit Type=articles;Articleid=3750;Title=Flu Vaccines;.

To find out more about the Fluenz nasal spray for children - and to read the out-of-this-world short story, Flu Fighters Versus Chilly, Achy and Snotty - please visit Type=articles;Articleid=13239;Title=Fluenz flu vaccination for children;.

  • released: Tuesday 16 October, 2018