Torbay’s Public Health Team is supporting Public Health England’s national seasonal flu campaign by encouraging uptake of the flu vaccine amongst the most at-risk groups.

The campaign targets people of all ages with a health condition, pregnant women and parents of children aged 2 to 4.

Cllr Chris Lewis, Executive Lead for Health and Wellbeing, said: “We are currently in flu season and for most healthy people, flu is an unpleasant but usually limiting disease with recovery time taking up to a week.

“Last year’s flu season was less severe than some we have seen but flu is an unpredictable virus and it is impossible to predict the impact of the disease this year and how many serious cases there might be as new strains can circulate each year with varying intensity.

“Older people, the very young, pregnant women and those with a health condition, particularly chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease, or those who have a weakened immune system are at particular risk from the more serious effects of flu.

“Pregnant women are being encouraged to have the free flu vaccination this winter. Pregnancy naturally weakens the body’s immune system and as a result, increases the risk of a mother and unborn baby becoming seriously ill from flu.

“Since 2013, 2 and 3 year olds have been eligible for flu vaccination with a newly available nasal spray, and this year the spray is also being offered to 4 year olds.”

In 2014/15, the following people are eligible for flu vaccination:

  • Pregnant women
  • 65s and over
  • Under 65s in clinical risk groups (with a long-term health condition)
  • All 2, 3 and 4 year olds
  • Residents in long-stay residential care homes
  • Carers

Those eligible for the free vaccine should contact their GP or pharmacist.

Notes to Editors

PHE exists to protect and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities. It does this through advocacy, partnerships, world-class science, knowledge and intelligence, and the delivery of specialist public health services. PHE is an operationally autonomous executive agency of the Department of Health. Follow on Twitter @PHE_uk

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