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Wyre Forest Clinical Commissioning Group

Patients with chronic neurological conditions encouraged to have flu jab


Coughs and colds are common this time of the year but flu season will soon hit. If you have a neurological condition, such as Parkinson's or motor neurone disease, catching it can cause serious problems to your health. So, NHS Wyre Forest Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is advising patients to make sure they get their free flu jab this winter.

In 2015/16, the uptake of the flu vaccination across England for those with a chronic neurological condition was 49%. So there are still many people putting themselves at risk of serious illness if they catch flu, by not being vaccinated.

If you have any of the following neurological conditions, you are eligible for a flu vaccination:
  • stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA);
  • cerebal palsy;
  • learning disabilities;
  • multiple sclerosis;
  • hereditary and degenerative disease of the nervous system or muscles; or
  • severe neurological disability. 

Those with a health condition should speak to their GP or local pharmacy now. Some pharmacies are offering the free flu vaccination too.

Dr Simon Rumley, Chair and Clinical Lead for NHS Wyre Forest CCG, said: “Some neurological diseases can affect your lungs, making it difficult to breath. If you catch flu, it can make breathing even harder and it could develop into a serious condition, such as pneumonia. It could mean spending time in hospital and taking a long time to recover from the effects of the treatment and the virus.

“Many people think having flu is like having a bad cold, but in reality flu is a nasty respiratory virus which can make you feel very unwell. Flu can cause you to develop a high temperature, so if you have a neurological condition it can make it difficult to regulate your body temperature making symptoms worse.  It can even become life threatening.

“The best protection from flu is to have a free vaccination every year before the flu season starts. It takes up to three weeks for the vaccine to develop so the sooner the better.”

You need to be vaccinated every year because the virus can change, and the previous year’s vaccine may not offer the right protection against the virus in circulation this year.

Vaccines are now available, speak to your neurology / stroke nurse, practice nurse or GP about getting vaccinated. It’s free because you need it. The sooner you’re vaccinated, the sooner you’re protected.

For more information visit www.nhs.uk/staywell


Notes to editors  

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