Staffordshire is below the national average for another year with only 71% of over 65’s receiving their seasonal flu jab, according to the Staffordshire Observatory.
Your flu immunity decreases, getting an annual flu jab keeps you protected every year from seasonal flu. Influenza is a very contagious viral infection of the upper airways.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommend to reach a 75% uptake for over 65’s. Unfortunately, neither Staffordshire or England are currently achieving this percentage for flu jab uptake.
A flu jab can do more than just protect you from getting ill. The vaccine also reduces the risk of you spreading influenza to your friends and family, helping to keep everyone healthy.
Flu can be spread through the air via coughing and sneezing, which can spread the virus up to a metre away. You can also spread flu through touching, especially with your hands.
Antibiotics do not work when fighting influenza viruses and so the vaccine is the best way to stay protected.
Over 65’s have a greater risk of developing severe and life-threatening complications of the flu, such as pneumonia.
Your immune response can become less responsive as you get older, which may mean that you are more likely to get sick with a virus such as flu.
Remember, if you have any underlying health conditions, check with a pharmacist or doctor before taking any over-the-counter cold and flu medication to relieve symptoms.
Some tips for Personal Protective Measures against the flu include:
• Washing your hands regularly, including making sure your hands are dry
• Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
• Avoid close contact with sick people who are contagious
• Avoid touching your eye’s, nose and mouth with unclean hands
If you’re over 65-years-old, book your free flu jab this winter and stay protected from flu.