Sunday, 25 February 2018
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health

Autumn 2016

Flu protection across the generations

Autumn marks the official start of the seasonal flu vaccination programme for 2016/2017, so the Public Health Agency (PHA) is urging people to ensure that all eligible family members get the free flu vaccine.

The vaccine changes each year to cover the strains which are likely to be prevalent over the course of the flu season, so it is important to get immunised annually. In addition to people over 65, ‘at risk’ children and adults, and pregnant women, GPs across Northern Ireland will be inviting pre-school children aged two years and over to receive their free flu vaccine. Meanwhile, children in primaries one to seven will be offered the flu vaccine in school.

The flu virus spreads easily and quickly, infecting both adults and children alike. This can lead to days spent in bed rather than being at work or school, causing considerable inconvenience for the whole family, not to mention putting more vulnerable family members at risk. Most children receive the vaccine via a quick and painless nasal spray. There are a few children who cannot receive the nasal spray and they will be offered the injection instead.

As it takes approximately two weeks following vaccination to develop maximum protection against flu, it is important to get vaccinated early. Flu vaccination clinics are just getting started now and everyone should aim to have the vaccine by early December. For further information see fluawareni.info

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