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Kent urged – “If you’re eligible for the flu vaccine, don’t put it off, get it now”

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Kent County Council, Oct 9, 2014. Replies: 0 | Views: 1645

  1. Protecting yourself against the flu has never been easier and Kent County Council is myth-busting in a bid to reach the most at risk including young children, older people and pregnant women.


    Children aged from two to four-years-old, alongside people aged 65 or older, those with long term medical conditions and mums-to-be, are among the priority groups to get the vaccine. Statistics from last year* show that across Kent and Medway, many people over 65 are taking up the offer of a vaccine with around 71 per cent of that age group having the jab. However, of the other main target groups, only 34 per cent of pregnant women, 40per cent of young children and just half of those with medical conditions had the vaccine.

    KCC Public Health Consultant, Faiza Khan, says these groups are more susceptible:
    Leading the campaign to encourage older people, pregnant women and parents of young children to have the vaccine are a team of KCC Public Health workers including mum-to-be Helen Buttivant from Sevenoaks, and dad Abraham George who will be taking his young son for the flu nasal spray. Helen, a speciality registrar based in Maidstone, said:
    Meanwhile, Public Health consultant Abraham George from Bearsted, explained why he would be taking four-year-old son Nathan for the nasal spray:
    66-year-old Graham Gibbens, KCC Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, will also be heading to his Canterbury GP. He said:
    Myths include:

    • You get the flu by having the vaccine It is impossible to get flu from the having the flu jab.
      This is because the vaccine doesn't contain any live viruses. A very small number of people experience side effects that are similar to those of the flu, such as aching muscles, but this is simply your immune system responding to what it thinks is an attack from flu.
    • You won't get the flu if you're healthy.
      Anyone can pick up the flu virus – even if you are in general good health. Usually, 15 to 20 per cent of the population gets flu each year and it is possible to pass it on to those who are at more risk of serious illness.
    • The flu vaccine isn't safe.
      The seasonal flu vaccine is one of the safest vaccines in the world and is given to millions of people in the UK each year. The specific strains of flu that are included may change from one year to the next but that does not affect the safety of the vaccine or change it in any other way.
    For more information contact your GP or visit our health information.

    *Figures from the Kent and Medway Screening and Immunisation Team (up to 31 January 2014).

    KCC News

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