People in Wolverhampton are being encouraged to protect themselves and others against the flu this winter.

Flu is a highly infectious disease and can lead to bronchitis, pneumonia and even death among the most vulnerable groups, who will once again be eligible for a free flu jab.

Vaccinations will be available through GPs or pharmacies this autumn for people aged 65 years old or over; pregnant women; people with certain medical conditions; people living in long stay care; health and social care staff, carers; anyone who lives with someone who has been shielding from coronavirus; children over the age of 6 months with a long term health condition, and children aged 2 and 3.

Pupils from Reception through to Year 7 can be vaccinated for free via a quick and painless nasal spray, and the award winning Flu Fighters campaign will be returning once more to encourage pupils to get their vaccine.

Free copies of this year's out-of-this-world short story, Flu Fighters in Close Encounters of the Germed Kind, along with information about the vaccine and consent forms, will be distributed to all primary aged children in the city in the coming weeks with parents encouraged to return their consent forms as soon as they receive them to ensure their child doesn’t miss out. 

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

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 the country still in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and the 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 school children is that it is administered via a quick and painless 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 carers and health and social care professionals, to get vaccinated to protect themselves, their families and the people they care for.”