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 2 and 3, primary aged pupils from Reception through to Year 6 and those aged 11 and over with some long term health conditions are offered a free vaccination, given via a quick and painless nasal spray.
People who are not eligible for the free vaccination can still get vaccinated at many local pharmacies for a small charge. For more information, please visit Flu Vaccines.
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, 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 ending up 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 before flu strikes.”
"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, including care professionals, to consider getting themselves vaccinated to protect themselves and the people they care for.”
Meanwhile, the popular Flu Fighters campaign has returned this year to encourage children to have their free nasal spray. Free copies of this year's out-of-this-world short story, Flu Fighters in The Battle of Planet Bogey, along with information about the vaccine and consent forms, are being distributed to all primary aged children in the city by Vaccination UK, and parents are encouraged to return their consent forms as soon as possible to ensure their child doesn’t miss out.
To find out more about the nasal vaccine, and to read this year's story and the first tale, Flu Fighters Versus Chilly, Achy and Snotty, please visit Flu Vaccines.