Cold weather can be seriously bad for your health. That’s why it’s important to look after yourself, especially during the winter. If you start to feel unwell, even if it’s a cough or a cold, don’t wait until it gets more serious. Seek advice from your pharmacist.
Flu is very infectious and spread by germs from coughs and sneezes, which can live on hands and surfaces for 24 hours.
To reduce the risk of spreading flu, use tissues to trap germs when you cough or sneeze, wash your hands often with warm water and soap, and bin used tissues as quickly as possible. Catch it. Bin it. Kill it.
Have you had your flu jab?
Flu is a highly contagious infection that anyone can catch. It is not just a cold – it can be a serious illness for some ‘at risk’ groups, including older people, pregnant women and people with an underlying health condition.
If you’re pregnant, have lowered immunity or a long term health condition such as severe asthma, a chest or heart complaint, or diabetes then you should get a free flu jab from your GP or local pharmacy.
The flu vaccine will help prevent you getting the flu. It won’t stop all flu viruses and the level of protection may vary, so it’s not a 100% guarantee that you’ll be flu-free.
But if you do get flu after vaccination, it’s likely to be milder and shorter than it would otherwise have been.
Carers and frontline health and social care staff are also being encouraged to take advantage of the free vaccination to protect themselves and those around them who may be at risk of catching flu.
Strains of the flu virus change every year, so even if you had a vaccination last year it’s important that you get one again before the flu season begins in December to make sure that you’re protected.
You are eligible for a free flu vaccination if you:
- Are 65 years old or over
- Are pregnant
- Have certain long-term medical conditions
- Are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility
- Receive a carer’s allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
- Are a frontline carer or healthcare worker
- If you’re not eligible for a free vaccination you can still receive it by paying for it at your local pharmacist.