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Rochdale borough residents are being urged to protect themselves and their loved ones from flu this winter by getting a vaccination.

Free flu vaccinations are being offered to ‘vulnerable’ residents who are at risk of developing severe complications such as bronchitis, pneumonia, the worsening of an existing condition or even death.

Those eligible for a free flu vaccination include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Carers
  • People aged over 65
  • Children aged two to four-years-old or in school years one, two and three
  • People with underlying medical conditions such as heart problems, asthma or disabilities

Those living or working with vulnerable people should also make sure they are vaccinated to protect themselves, their patients and their families.

Councillor Janet Emsley, Rochdale Borough Council’s cabinet member for culture, health and wellbeing, said: “Flu can be unpleasant for most healthy people causing fever, chills and extreme aches or pains but it can be even worse for some people. So remember to catch it, bin it and kill it to prevent spread of the virus and protect yourselves and the people you love this year by booking your free flu jab as soon as possible, it really is the best protection.”

The vaccination is quick and simple and should be taken before the flu season starts.

A quick and painless nasal spray vaccination is available for children. Vaccinations for children in schools years one, two and three will usually be administered in school. It is important to vaccinate even healthy children to avoid spreading the illness to other, more vulnerable, family members or friend.

Dr Chris Duffy, chair of NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Flu is very serious. I have the vaccine every year to protect my patients, family and myself. Having the flu can increase the risk of developing bronchitis and pneumonia, and in most cases seasonal flu could land you in hospital. Flu vaccines are available now so please make a note in your diary and contact your GP for an appointment.”

Even if you have had one previously you will need to update your vaccinations every year to fight the latest strains of flu.

Those who need a flu vaccination should contact their local GP, pharmacy or midwife. For more information visit www.rochdale.gov.uk/flu

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