Hampshire County Council is urging people at increased risk from flu or who care for someone vulnerable to book their free flu vaccine as early as September.
The vaccine will help to protect them this winter and avoid the spread of the highly infectious influenza virus.
Councillor Patricia Stallard, Executive Member for Public Health at Hampshire County Council, explained “Flu can be absolutely debilitating and lead to serious complications so it’s vitally important for everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated to protect not only themselves but those around them.”
A winter flu jab is considered essential protection for the over 65s, young children, pregnant women and carers, as well as those with pre-existing long-term health conditions or a weakened immune system. The virus can spread fast in families, schools, care homes or hospitals, and lead to serious complications. The vaccination is available free of charge from GPs and pharmacies for these eligible groups.
School children from Reception to Year 4 will get the vaccine by means of a free nasal spray at school vaccination clinics and pre-school children can receive it from the family GP. Vaccinating children aged two to nine is particularly important as they spread flu easily, putting families, other adults and the wider community at risk.
Severe symptoms including fever, chills, aching muscles, headache, stuffy nose, dry cough and sore throat make it one of the most debilitating seasonal illnesses.
For more information visit https://www.nhs.uk/staywell