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NHS in Somerset urges at risk groups to get flu jab

It has not yet been a severe winter. There isn’t much sign of a white Christmas. But although the temperatures are generally mild, the Flu virus is already circulating widely in Somerset.

NHS England’s Somerset team have issued a notice urging people who have not been vaccinated in the higher risk groups to make sure they get vaccinated.

At risk groups include:

Patients with diabetes;

kidney disease;

anyone whose immunity is reduced, for example cancer patients;

all patients aged 65 and over and also pregnant women;

2 and 3 year olds and children up to school year 5 are also urged to have the free vaccine.

This can be non-trivial. Patients with diabetes for example, are more at risk of developing serious complications arising from a flu infection. Complications can include pneumonia, inflammation of the heart, brain and muscle tissues and even multi-organ failure.

Liz Mearns, NHS England Medical Director for the South West tells us  “It really is important for people with diabetes to make sure they have the free flu vaccine. Having the vaccine is the best way of protecting yourself from contracting the flu virus, and to minimise the risk of developing more serious complications.”

Patients with diabetes can have the vaccine free of charge, via their GP surgery or local community pharmacy. Patients should have the vaccine as soon as possible before the flu virus takes more of a hold in the community.

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