Residents are being urged to get a free flu vaccine ahead of winter.
The Public Health England (PHE) and the NHS joint ‘Stay Well This Winter’ campaign will help the most vulnerable people in the city prepare for winter and avoid having to visit hospital due to common winter illnesses.
City residents who are the most vulnerable to flu are being urged to get their free flu vaccination, ahead of the winter period when the virus is most common.
The national campaign launches as the Chief Medical Officer has warned that flu, and complications with it, cause 8,000 deaths on average a year in England.
Cllr Diane Lamb, cabinet member for public health at Peterborough City Council said: “For many people flu is an unpleasant illness but for the most vulnerable in society - small children, the elderly, those with long-term health problems and for pregnant women - it can be extremely dangerous.
“Getting the vaccine is simply the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from catching flu and I would urge anyone who is offered the vaccine, including healthcare workers, to take up the offer to protect themselves and others in their care, for the coming winter season.”
This year’s campaign aims to continue to increase uptake of the flu vaccination. Last year 46.3 per cent of at risk groups in Peterborough had their free vaccine.
A new social media advertising pilot campaign is taking place in East Anglia targeting these groups with the sole aim of increasing uptake. It will highlight eligibility, reinforce why it is so important and signpost residents to places they can receive the vaccine.
People with respiratory diseases like COPD, emphysema or asthma are seven times more likely to die if they catch flu, and people with cardiovascular problems like chronic heart disease or angina, or have had a stroke, are 11 times more likely compared to those who don’t.
The risk is far worse for those with chronic liver disease, who are 48 times more likely to die if they get the flu.
Another way of protecting vulnerable adults is to vaccinate children, who are ‘super-spreaders’ of the virus. Last year’s nationwide flu vaccination programme reduced the risk of flu in children who received the vaccine by 65 per cent.
Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medial Officer said: “Flu kills and we could save thousands of lives if everyone eligible got their free jab.
“With more people eligible than ever before and the vaccine available in more locations, people should protect themselves and those around them against this potentially deadly virus. Taking a few minutes to get the jab could save your life this winter.”
To get your vaccine or find out if you are eligible, contact your GP, pharmacist or midwife for more information. Visit nhs.uk/staywell for more details on how to help you and your family to stay well this winter.