Cookstown ‘at risk’ people urged to get flu jab

People in Cookstown are urged to get the flu jab.
People in Cookstown are urged to get the flu jab.

THE Public Health Agency (PHA) is reminding people in Cookstown who are eligible for the flu vaccine but haven’t yet had it, to get it as soon as possible.

The PHA is particularly urging all those aged under 65 years who are in ‘at risk’ groups and pregnant women to get their flu vaccine. Flu can cause serious illness and result in a stay in hospital, or even death, for people in these ‘at risk’ categories. Even if you feel fit and healthy, if you fall into one of these groups it is important that you remember to get the vaccine.

This year flu vaccine is also being offered to all two and three year olds for the first time. There has been a very positive response from parents so far. However, some two and three year olds still haven’t had the vaccine.

Dr Richard Smithson, Consultant in Health Protection at the PHA, said there has been a very good start to the vaccination programme this year.

“However, with busy lives it is easy to forget about the flu vaccine, especially when you feel fit and well. But it is important to make the effort to remember to get the flu vaccine at your GP’s surgery,” he added.

Dr Smithson also urged parents to take advantage of the opportunity to get their child vaccinated.

“It is easy and painless to give as we are now using a vaccine that is given as a spray up the nose,” he explained.

Parents should have been contacted by their surgery. If they haven’t heard, then the advice is to contact the surgery to find out what their arrangements are for offering the vaccine.

Flu can cause fever, chills, aching muscles and joints, headache and extreme tiredness. These symptoms can last between two and seven days and for some people can lead to serious illness and result in a stay in hospital.

For more information about the flu vaccine for 2013/14, visit www.fluawareni.info or speak to your GP/nurse or member of staff within the school nurse team at your local Health and Social Care Trust.