Torbay Council’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 in years 1,2 and 3, and children aged 2, 3 and 4 year olds.

Deputy Mayor and Executive Lead for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Derek Mills, said: “We are currently in flu season and for most healthy people, flu is an unpleasant and limiting illness with recovery time taking up to a week.

“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.

By immunising children it helps protect those in at risk groups such as elderly grandparents. This year, all children in years 1 and 2 will continue to be offered a nasal flu vaccination with the offer also being extended to those children in year 3. Children in at risk groups can receive the nasal vaccine at school. Children aged 2, 3 and 4 will be sent an invite by their GP.

In 2015/16, 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)
  • Children in years 1,2 and3
  • Residents in long-stay residential care homes
  • Carers

For more information visit the Flu  Opens in a new window website.

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