People with medical conditions urged to get their free flu jab

Will you be getting a flu jab this year?
Will you be getting a flu jab this year?

South Tynesiders with specific medical conditions are being reminded that it’s not too late to take up the offer of a free flu jab.

One woman who fell victim to the virus says people with underlying health conditions, shouldn’t hesitate.

Coun Tracey Dixon.

Coun Tracey Dixon.

Diabetic Jemma Langley, was rushed into hospital last year when she caught flu after putting off getting the vaccine.

The 21-year-old of Elmfield Terrace in Hebburn, said: “Having the flu was very scary. I couldn’t catch my breath at all and had to be taken to hospital.

“Because I’m diabetic I have a weakened immune system, which means the symptoms of flu are so much worse for me and can be life-threatening.

“I have definitely learned my lesson and would now never go without getting my flu jab.”

People with an underlying health condition such as diabetes, bronchitis, COPD, heart disease or multiple sclerosis can receive the vaccine for free, along with people aged 65 and over and two to nine year-olds.

Coun Tracey Dixon, South Tyneside Council’s lead member for independence and wellbeing, said: “Vaccination is the best way to protect against the potential serious harm from flu this winter.

“It is not too late to get your flu jab, but I would advise everyone entitled to a free vaccine to make this a top priority in the New Year.”

For more information about diabetes and flu, visit www.diabetes.org.uk/seasonal-flu

The free flu vaccine is offered to priority groups as part of the Stay Well This Winter campaign. For more information, visit www.nhs.uk/staywell/