Get the jab to protect yourself against flu this winter, says Lewisham GPs
With the temperature dropping in recent weeks, autumn is well and truly upon us – which means that bugs like the flu are on the rise. GPs in Lewisham are encouraging local residents to make sure they stay well over the coming months by getting the flu jab.
"Flu is a very infectious disease with symptoms that can come on very quickly. People catch it mostly during the colder months" says Dr Marc Rowland, local GP and Chair of NHS Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
"Flu is much worse than a cold, and can be particularly serious for certain groups of people. Those over 65 years of age, young children, pregnant woman and those with long term conditions, such as heart disease or respiratory illnesses are particularly vulnerable. Flu can sometimes develop into more serious conditions, such as pneumonia or bronchitis, or it can make existing conditions worse."
We all have to carry on doing every day activities, such as going to work, school and shopping, so it's impossible to completely avoid exposing ourselves to diseases such as flu. There are a number of ways you can protect yourself against flu; one of the most effective is to make sure you get your free flu jab from your GP if you are particularly vulnerable.
Dr Rowland adds, "By making sure you get the flu jab, you can increase your resistance to the disease and the ability to fight back."
Who is eligible for a free flu jab?
Talk to your GP Practice about a flu jab if you:
- are pregnant;
- have a long-term condition;
- have had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA);
- are seriously overweight;
- are a carer of an older or disabled person;
- live in a residential or nursing home;
- are over 65 years of age.
You should also ensure your child is vaccinated against flu if they are under five years of age. Flu can be horrible for little children, and if they get it, it can spread around the whole family. Don't put it off; ask your GP about the free flu vaccine today.