Council advises Tower Hamlets residents to protect against the flu
PUBLISHED: 14:30 14 October 2016
The council is urging residents to protect themselves from the sneezes this winter by getting a flu jab.
The highly contagious seasonal virus poses a particular risk to people older than 65, pregnant women and those with pre-existing health conditions.
Sir Sam Everington, local GP and chair of NHS Tower Hamlets CCG, emphasised that people who received an injection last year will still need to get another.
“If you are someone who is at a higher risk of illness if you get the flu, then I encourage you to get your flu jab. The jab is safe, it’s free, and it can’t give you flu.”
“The vaccine is updated every year to combat the latest strains of the flu virus so if you are in an at-risk group and had the jab last year, you will need another one this year,” said Sir Everington.
Dr Somen Banerjee, director of public health in Tower Hamlets, said the flu virus, whilst unpleasant for healthy people, can have serious consequences for people with weaker immune systems.
“For older people, the very young, pregnant women and those with a long-term health condition, it can have very serious consequences and in some cases people require hospital treatment,” said Dr Banerjee
“It’s these groups of people we need to protect against this virus. It is also important that front line NHS staff and social care staff also get the jab to help stop the virus spreading.”
All GP surgeries in the borough, and many pharmacies, offer the NHS flu jab free of charge to people who are deemed at risk.
The groups eligible for the free vaccine are people aged over 65, pregnant women, people with long-term conditions or weakened immune systems, children aged between 2 and 4 and carers for elderly or disabled people.
People not deemed at risk are still being urged to get the jab and Tower Hamlets CCG is setting the example by organising free jabs for its employees.
Nasal spray is also recommended as an alternative for combating the virus.