LOCAL NURSE: “If you don’t get vaccinated against flu, you could be putting vulnerable people at risk”

As a frontline NHS worker, local nurse Moira Crosdale, who works at the Half Penny Steps Health Centre on Harrow Road, gets vaccinated every year ahead of flu season, to protect her patients from the virus. Having the vaccination allows Moira to protect her patients, family, and co-workers from flu – a virus which, for some vulnerable groups, can be more serious than many people realise.

Moira wants to encourage more of her co-workers and members of the public who are at high risk of flu complications to get vaccinated sooner rather than later.

“A lot of people say they are too busy to get the flu jab, which I do understand,” said Moira. “But you have to think about others. If you don’t get vaccinated, especially in a job like mine, you could be putting vulnerable people at risk.”  

You’re eligible for a free NHS flu vaccination (and strongly encouraged to get it) if you’re:

  • Over 65
  • A child aged 2-7
  • Living with a long-term condition such as asthma or COPD
  • Pregnant
  • Living with a lowered immune system e.g. from cancer treatment or from HIV
  • A frontline health or social care worker

You can claim the jab or the nasal spray from your local GP. You can also get the jab from your pharmacist. Antibiotics cannot prevent or cure flu because flu is a virus, not bacteria.

Flu is unpleasant for anyone. Symptoms include fever, chills, headaches, aching muscles, coughs, and sore throats. But if you’re in one of the vulnerable groups listed above, flu may worsen existing conditions, lead to severe illnesses like bronchitis and pneumonia, cause complications in pregnancy, be passed on to other vulnerable people, and, in some cases, it can even be fatal. 

Moira says: “As a nurse, I hear people tell me all sorts of reasons why they don’t get the flu vaccination. Once they’ve had it, it’s usually a big relief.

“I ask myself, if a patient caught flu from me, and their condition got worse, or they had pregnancy complications, how would I feel? It is important to have the vaccination. It protects the people around you as well as yourself.”

Dr Fiona Butler, Chair of West London Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We strongly urge high risk groups and frontline NHS or social care workers to get vaccinated sooner rather than later. Don’t leave it until the last minute – protect yourself and the people around you by booking an appointment today for a flu jab.” 

CCG Press Office

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