Flu vaccine message issued

Residents across the Wetherby area are being urged to check if they are eligible for a free flu jab this winter.

Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 11:50 am

Residents across the Wetherby area are being urged to check if they are eligible for a free flu jab this winter.

Ahead of the flu season the Lord Mayor of Leeds issued the message when being joined by Coun Salma Arif, Leeds City Council’s executive member for Public Health and Active Lifestyles to receive their flu vaccination.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Coun Asghar Khan, after receiving his vaccination, said: “I am really grateful that I have been able to receive my free flu jab from the NHS ahead of this winter and I would urge anyone across Leeds who is eligible to do the same.

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“It is important that as a city we come together this winter to look out for each other and getting the flu jab if you are eligible is an important part of that.”

The flu vaccine is available for more people than ever this year, with many adults, most children, and all pregnant women now eligible for a free vaccination from the NHS.

With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, health experts say it is more important than ever that everyone eligible for a free jab takes up the offer.

A council spokesman said: “This is due to more people being likely to catch flu this winter as less people than normal have developed natural immunity to flu during the last 18 months.

“There is also research pointing towards the fact that if you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time you are more likely to be seriously ill.

“The flu vaccine is an easy way to make sure that you and those around you are protected from serious illnesses this winter.”

For more information on eligibility and where to receive the flu vaccine this year, please visit nhs.uk/wintervaccinations.

Coun Arif said: “It’s more important than ever this year so I would urge everyone across Leeds to check if they are eligible to.

“The vaccine represents a crucial way for people across Leeds to keep themselves and those around them safe this winter.

“As a council we are working with partners across the city to ensure people are aware of the flu vaccine and its importance this winter and I must extend a sincere thanks to all staff that are working to ensure the effective delivery of the flu jab.”

Leeds City Council’s chief officer for Health Protection, Dawn Bailey, said: “For most healthy people, flu symptoms can make you feel exhausted and unwell, and you have to stay at home and rest until you get better, but for people with underlying health conditions, people with learning disabilities, pregnant women or the elderly flu can be very serious.

“It’s really important that if you are eligible for a free flu vaccine you take up the offer.

“It is offered to these vulnerable groups of people because we know that they need it to stay well during the flu season.

“This year with covid-19 still circulating, it is more important than ever that people take up the offer of a flu vaccination to protect from infection of the flu virus, it will also help to reduce pressure on the NHS and social care staff who may be dealing with covid-19 and flu.”