Planned supply of flu vaccine
Tuesday, 30 October 2018
Health officials are reminding people in Wales that the supply of the flu vaccine for those aged 65 and over is being staggered across the UK.
The flu vaccines offered to eligible adults aged under 65 and the nasal spray vaccine offered to children are available as usual.
The delivery of the best flu vaccine for those aged 65 and over is being staggered between September and November. This means that some people may be asked to wait and return when the most effective vaccine for them is available.
Flu does not usually start to circulate before mid-December and so those aged 65 and over will still be able to get their vaccine in time to be protected this winter.
Dr Frank Atherton, Chief Medical Officer for Wales, said:
“Flu can be extremely serious and it is important that people get the best vaccine for them.
“I appreciate any delay may be worrying for those aged 65 and over who in past years have had their flu vaccines by early October. However flu does not usually start to circulate before mid-December and the remaining supplies of the best vaccine for this group will be delivered in November. Those aged 65 and over will still be able to get the vaccine that offers them the best possible protection in time to be protected this winter.”
Dr Richard Roberts, Head of the Vaccine Preventable Disease Programme at Public Health Wales, said:
“Flu viruses change regularly, and each year the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend which strains of flu virus should be included in the vaccine.
“Every year we see many people become ill with flu and some face life-threatening complications. Last winter there were 2,680 patients with confirmed flu in hospitals – 192 in intensive care units.
“Annual flu vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and it’s strongly recommended all those at increased risk of complications from flu have the flu vaccine every year – especially those aged 65 and over, pregnant women and people with long term health conditions. This is to protect themselves from catching flu and also helps to prevent them spreading it to others.”
Flu is a respiratory illness caused by a virus that affects the lungs and airways. Symptoms generally come on suddenly, and can include fever, chills, headache, cough, body aches and fatigue.
Flu is spread via droplets which are sprayed into the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Direct contact with contaminated hands or surfaces can also spread infection. It can spread rapidly, especially in closed communities such as hospitals, residential homes and schools.
For a more information on who is eligible for a free NHS flu vaccine this winter visit www.beatflu.org or www.curwchffliw.org or find Beat Flu or Curwch Ffliw on Twitter and Facebook.
From http://howis.wales.nhs.uk/NewsDets.cfm?ContentID=60933 30.10.2018