Last year’s flu season saw 72 people ending up in hospital in Brighton and Hove due to flu, and the influx of people needing medical care due to flu caused extra strain on hospitals last year and cost the NHS almost £215,000. Local doctors believe this could have been avoided had those eligible taken up the opportunity to get their free jab.
Allison Cannon, Chief Nurse Officer for East Surrey and Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups, said:
“Last year, around 1 in 4 of those eligible in Brighton and Hove did not claim their free flu jab. This year, residents should be vaccinated as they will be better protected from flu than ever before. We hope this improved vaccine will help ease pressures on local health services by leading to fewer avoidable GP appointments, fewer people needing hospital care and fewer deaths from flu.”
Those who could get seriously ill if they get flu and risk avoidable hospital admission can claim a free flu jab, including:
- All children aged two to ten
- Those in clinical risk groups
- Pregnant women
- Those aged 65 years and over
- Those in long-stay residential care homes
- Close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
People identified at risk of complications can receive the flu vaccine through their GP, and from their local high street pharmacist. The childhood vaccination programme uses a flu nasal spray, protecting children and anyone they come into contact with.