GPs in Bedford are urging patients at greatest risk of catching flu to protect themselves and their families by getting a free flu jab.
Last year 278 people across Bedfordshire died from flu-related illness.
Flu is far more than a bad cold - it is a highly contagious infection that anyone can catch, and it can be a really serious illness for some, warns the Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG).
Flu can increase people’s risk of developing more serious illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia. It can also make existing conditions worse.
Those at greatest risk of contracting flu are entitled to a free flu jab from their GP. This includes anyone aged 65 or over; pregnant women; people with conditions such as severe asthma, diabetes or heart disease; young children aged two to four and carers.
Bedford GP Dr Mary Fenske said: “The flu jab is safe so anyone at risk of catching flu should be booking an appointment with their GP now.
“The flu vaccine changes every year to fight the latest strains of flu. So even if you had a jab last winter you need another one this year to stay safe from flu.”
Many pharmacies also offer the vaccination for a small fee, so anyone not eligible for a free flu jab should ask their local pharmacist.
Basic hygiene will help prevent the spread of the flu virus. This means covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, washing hands with soap and water and throwing used tissues in the bin.
Pharmacies in the borough providing free flu jabs to at risk people are:
Sainsbury’s In-Store Pharmacy(100hr)
Tesco Instore Pharmacy
The Co-Operative Pharmacy
Bedford Pharmacy, Union Street
In-Store Pharmacy, Newnham
Boots The Chemists Ltd
Kidmans Surgical Chemist
The Village Pharmacy, Kempston Rural