Age Cymru is encouraging over 65s and those with long term underlying medical conditions to get their winter flu vaccination.
We’re supporting Public Health Wales’s annual Beat Flu immunisation programme which is now underway.
It offers free vaccines to individuals most at risk of serious complications from flu.
The campaign is targeting older people and those whose health may be at risk if their carer becomes ill with the message 'Beat flu before it beats you!'
Last year in Wales only two thirds (68.3%) of those aged 65 and over were vaccinated.
Age Cymru’s Keep Well this Winter Coordinator, Angharad Phillips says:
“It is very important that over-65s – and other ‘at-risk’ groups, take up the opportunity to have the free winter flu vaccination because flu is a serious and potentially debilitating illness.
“People who care for an older or disabled person should also have the vaccination to make sure that the people they are looking after are protected as well.
“If you are fit and healthy, you may only get mild symptoms if you catch winter flu.
“However if you have long-term health problems, winter flu can make already existing health conditions worse, and even lead to a hospital stay.
“Make sure you get the flu vaccination - it should be part of your annual routine if you are 65 or over, or in an ‘at-risk’ group.”
Flu can be largely prevented by a simple, safe and effective vaccination each year.
It is offered free of charge via GPs and some community pharmacies for all those who are 65 and over or ‘at risk’ because of long term underlying health problems.
Dr Richard Roberts, Head of the Vaccine Preventable Diseases Programme at Public Health Wales, says:
“We would urge everyone aged 65 or over, and those who in a risk groups to Beat Flu by having the free flu jab.
“For most people influenza (or ‘flu’) is usually a relatively minor, albeit unpleasant and inconvenient, illness.
“But every year vulnerable people can and do die from flu and its many complications.”