More children than ever in Hammersmith & Fulham have the chance to get better protected against the flu this winter as the country’s largest vaccination drive kicks off.
The 2016 Stay Well This Winter campaign will result in more than 707,000 London children, aged from two to seven receiving the vaccination.
This year, the programme has been extended to children in school year 3, meaning a further 107,000 can be vaccinated.
“We worked hard last year to get as many H&F residents protected as possible and hope to do even better this year,” said Cllr Vivienne Lukey, H&F Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care.
“We full support the Stay Well This Winter campaign and would urge those residents who are eligible for the free vaccination to get in touch with their GP, pharmacist or midwife asap to book an appointment.”
At risk adults, including those with long-term health conditions such as asthma or heart disease, pregnant women and those over 65, are also being encouraged to get the free vaccination, along with residents of long-stay care homes and carers.
Following last year’s successful campaign, children aged two to four can get the vaccination from their GP. Parents of children in school years 1, 2 and 3 are asked to give permission for their child to receive the free nasal spray vaccination at school.
- Children are most likely to spread flu to others, so targeting them helps protect the wider community too.
- Several million people get flu each winter, which led to more than 2,000 NHS intensive care admissions across the UK last year.
- Flu can be particularly dangerous for those with long-term health conditions, like respiratory disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis or emphysema), diabetes heart, kidney or liver disease; and chronic neurological diseases (multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy)
- Pregnancy naturally weakens the body’s immune system, and so flu can cause serious complications for a mother and her newborn baby.
“Flu is not the same as the common cold and we must recognise the difference. Flu symptoms tend to start much more suddenly, can be more severe, and last longer,” said Vanessa Andrea, Vice Chair of Hammersmith and Fulham Clinical Commissioning Group.
Hammersmith and Fulham CCG has worked closely alongside H&F Council to organise extra flu vaccination sessions at children’s centres and nurseries in the borough to help parents of children aged two to four.
The group has also organised walk-in flu sessions to be delivered by GP Practices accessible to all registered patients at the locations listed below on the following dates:
Saturday 12 and 17 November, Saturday 14 January, from 9am-midday.
- Brook Green Medical Centre
- Parkview (Drs Canisius and Hasan)
Parkview Centre for Health & Wellbeing
56 Bloemfontein Road
- Cassidy Medical Centre
651A Fulham Road
To find out more about symptoms and treatment, visit the NHS flu webpage.