West Sussex County Council has joined the fight against flu and urges everyone at risk in the county to get vaccinated.
Free flu jabs are available to all children aged two, three or four years old. For most children, the vaccine is given as a simple nasal spray, with no injections involved.
West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing Christine Field said: “I would urge residents at risk of flu to get protected and have the vaccine. It not only protects you, but reduces the risk of the virus being passed on to your friends and family.
“Influenza is not the common cold, and the effects of seasonal flu can be serious. Some people are more at risk and need the vaccine because they are not able to fight off flu as easily as the others. It can end up resulting in more serious complications which require hospital treatment.”
Flu can be a nasty illness that can lead to a stay in hospital, especially for children with other medical conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
Protecting your child can stop the flu spreading to other children in the school playground, and to the rest of the family, in particular to infants and grandparents, who may be at particular risk from flu.
The flu vaccine is provided free at GP surgeries for people with long-term conditions, carers, those aged over 65, pregnant women and any child born after September 2nd 2009 or before September 1st 2012.
Christine added: “Flu is highly infectious. The virus that causes flu changes every year, as does the vaccine, which is why it is so important that those at risk protect themselves and get the vaccine every year.”
Everyone can also take simple steps to reduce their risk of catching and spreading flu by:
- covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue and disposing of that tissue after one use; and
- cleaning hands as soon as possible afterwards with soap and water or an alcohol hand gel.
To find out more visit the ‘Get ready for winter’ web pages on the County Council website.