People urged to take advantage of free flu jabs

Coun Tracey Dixon, left, with Carol Robertson
Coun Tracey Dixon, left, with Carol Robertson

People in South Tyneside who are entitled to a free flu jab are being encouraged to take up the option

Health experts say the vaccination helps protect them and other people.

People aged 65 and over, pregnant women, children aged between two and nine and those with an underlying health condition are advised to have the vaccine.

One person who has already had the vaccine is South Shields woman Carol Robertson who works as a care worker and fund-raiser at Haven Court, a purpose-built facility for older people.

Carol, 62, has a thyroid condition and asthma which means that flu could lead to serious complications.

She said: “I have had flu twice in my life and never want to go through it again.

“Also, because I work with older people, I feel I have to be very careful to protect them.

"All the staff here have been recommended to have the flu jab because it’s important to protect the people we work with.”

Getting vaccinated is the best way to stop the spread of flu and prevent deaths.

It can also ease pressures on GP services and hospitals.

Coun Tracey Dixon, lead member for independence and wellbeing at South Tyneside Council, said: “Flu is a highly infectious disease which can lead to serious complications for people with an underlying condition such as asthma, bronchitis and COPD.

“If you are entitled to a free vaccine, that is because you need it. I would urge people to have the vaccine, not only for themselves, but also for people around them, some of whom could be put at serious risk if they catch flu.”

The free flu vaccine is being offered to priority groups as part of the Stay Well This Winter campaign.

For more information, visit www.nhs.uk/staywell/