News

4th Year of NHS Flu Jabs in Local Pharmacies in Wales

06/10/2015

More chemists then ever will be providing the jabs this winter.

 
The Deputy Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, today (Monday 5th October) launched the Welsh Government annual flu vaccination campaign in a community pharmacy in Cardiff Bay.
 
Russell Goodway, Chief Executive of Community Pharmacy Wales said "This is the 4th year that pharmacies across Wales have been commissioned by NHS Wales to support the flu vaccination programme. Each year more eligible people are taking advantage of the convenience of the healthcare professional in their high street to pop in for a free NHS flu jab without an appointment or taking time off work. " Mr Goodway added "We are hearing this year that more people than ever before are actually asking their pharmacy if they are eligible for an NHS vaccination and when they can get it. This is good news for the efforts to build as much protection against 'flu across the Welsh population as possible." 
 
Pharmacies delivering the NHS flu vaccination are displaying the attached bilingual posters so people can test if they are in one of the groups eligible for a free flu jab. Many people in these groups do not realise that their health means they are advised by NHS Wales to have a flu jab to protect themselves.
 
The Deputy Minister has encouraged others to join him and pledge to beat flu: "Flu can be life threatening to people who are particularly at risk, and it continues to kill people every year. People can also pledge to beat flu by reminding eligible relatives and friends to get their flu vaccine this autumn.
"We run this programme to make sure this doesn’t happen unnecessarily, when flu can be prevented quickly and simply. Giant flu bugs will be travelling around Wales this autumn and winter reminding you that flu circulates around Wales every year and is serious so make sure you get protected early!"
Last year, more than two thirds (68%) of people aged 65 or over had their vaccination but just under half (49.3%) of people in ‘at risk’ groups under the age of 65 got protected.
Dr Richard Roberts, Head of the Vaccine Preventable Disease Programme in Public Health Wales, added: "Each year the flu bugs circulating and causing people to be ill will change, so even if you had the vaccine last year you must have it again now to protect you from flu this winter. Figures from last year show the vaccination protected one third or 34 out of every 100 people vaccinated. This was slightly lower than the usual as one of the flu strains had changed or mutated. But this strain is included in the vaccine being given this year.
 
"Flu can’t usually be treated but it can be largely prevented through one simple vaccination, so make sure you beat flu before it beats you!"




 
 
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