Staying well in winter

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We can all take simple steps to look after our health and of others this winter, this includes staying warm, eating well and checking up on vulnerable neighbours. By looking after yourself and those around you, you really will be helping your NHS.

Having your flu vaccine

Around 10,000 deaths are caused by flu each year in England and Wales.

Choose to be healthy this winter. Protect yourself, your friends and family with a flu jab today.

Certain groups are at particular risk from flu and vaccination is the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus. That's why the flu vaccine is free for people who really need it. If you (or someone you care for) fall into one of the following groups, contact your GP practice or local pharmacy for a free flu vaccine.

To find out more about the flu virus and vaccinations to protect your winter health, visit http://bit.ly/2RZyC7X

Certain groups are at particular risk from flu and vaccination is the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus. That's why the flu vaccine is free for people who really need it. If you (or someone you care for) fall into one of the following groups, contact your GP practice or local pharmacy for a free flu vaccine:

  • adults age 65 and over
  • children age 2-3 and in reception classes through to year 5 (delivered as a nasal spray)
  • pregnant women
  • anyone with an underlying condition such as COPD, bronchitis, asthma, emphysema, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, spleen problems (like sickle cell), liver disease or a chronic neurological disease like multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy
  • anyone with a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medication such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
  • anyone who receives a carer's allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • anyone who has a learning disability and are on their GP learning disability register.

If you don't fall into one of these groups but would still like a flu vaccine, then call into your local pharmacy – it will cost around £10 for a flu jab for those not eligible for a free one on the NHS.

Setting the record straight - the flu virus and the flu vaccination - Learn more here

Pneumococcal vaccine

The pneumococcal vaccine protects against serious and potentially fatal pneumococcal infections. It's also known as the pneumonia vaccine.

Pneumococcal infections are caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae and can lead to pneumonia, septicaemia (a kind of blood poisoning) and meningitis.

At their worst, they can cause permanent brain damage, or even kill.

Find out more here

Shingles vaccine?

You're eligible for the shingles vaccine if you're aged 70 or 78 years old.

In addition, anyone who was previously eligible (born on or after 2 September 1942) but missed out on their shingles vaccination remains eligible until their 80th birthday.

When you're eligible, you can have the shingles vaccination at any time of year.

The shingles vaccine is not available on the NHS to anyone aged 80 and over because it seems to be less effective in this age group.

Find out more here