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Over 65? Make sure you get the flu jab - it's free because you need it!

The NHS Nottingham City Clinical Commissioning Group is urging anyone over the age of 65 to protect themselves against flu this winter with the free flu vaccination.

The flu vaccination is the best possible protection against the flu virus during the autumn and winter months when you’re more likely to suffer complications if you contract flu. Even if you’ve had the vaccination before it’s important to get it again because the type of virus in circulation changes every year and so the vaccine changes too.

In winter 2013/14, more than 9,000 people nationwide were admitted to hospital with confirmed cases of flu and 10 per cent of all patients admitted died as a result of the flu virus.

Practice Nurse Lead Robana Hussain-Mills for the NHS Nottingham City Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Flu is a really unpleasant illness, particularly for those who are aged over 65, those who have a long term condition such as asthma or diabetes and for pregnant women. You are more likely to become seriously ill and have complications like pneumonia or make an existing condition worse if you catch it. This may result in an unwanted hospital stay and can even be fatal.

“Flu tends to circulate between September and March. The flu vaccine is available from October, so I would urge anyone who is offered a free flu vaccination to make an appointment with their nurse at their surgeries flu clinic or pharmacy. It’s quick, safe and free if you’re over 65.

"GP practices will be sending letters informing you about the dates and times of their flu clinics. For the first time this year some pharmacies are offering the flu jab too. You will have to check with your local pharmacy but it’s another way of getting yourself protected.”

If you care for someone over 65 it’s advisable to get vaccinated too, so that you can protect yourself and the person you care for.

For more information visit www.nhs.uk/staywell

Published: 15 October 2015