HEALTH chiefs are urging Wearsiders to get their winter flu jab.
People who are entitled to a free NHS flu jab can get one by going to their community pharmacy. NHS South of Tyne & Wear, working on behalf of Sunderland Teaching Primary Care Trust (PCT), has contracted pharmacists to provide the vaccines to give more choice to eligible patients.
Pregnant women, pensioners and those aged over six months with a long-term health condition such as diabetes, kidney or heart problems should get the vaccine.
In 2010, at the busiest time during December and January, many people who weren’t vaccinated found themselves critically ill with flu and requiring hospital treatment, with the majority of those affected suffering from long-term conditions.
Brenda Weatherburn, who runs Flowers by Brenda, in Houghton, gets her jab every year from Steven Foster at nearby chemist G Whitfield Pharmacy.
Brenda, who hasn’t been able to work since badly breaking her ankle after a fall in her shop, said: “Being able to get the flu jab gives me a feeling of security that I am protecting myself from further risk in light of my health problems.”
Steven, a pharmacist with over 30 years’ experience, said: “Brenda has her flu jab for free, care of the NHS, because she has a long-term condition and is in an at-risk group. It is an extra service that we are delighted to offer.”
Faisal Al Durrah, consultant in public health medicine for NHS South of Tyne and Wear, working on behalf of Sunderland Teaching PCT said: “It’s not too late to get the NHS flu jab, free for people with long-term conditions or who are 65 and over during the Christmas period at their local participating pharmacy.”
For information on which pharmacies are offering the flu vaccine go to www.sotw.nhs.uk www.sunderlandlpc.net.