Free flu jabs for patients at greatest risk

Cllr Colleen Atkins receives her flu jab in Bedford.
Cllr Colleen Atkins receives her flu jab in Bedford.

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:

Ellis Chemists

MK42 0NT

Lloyds Pharmacy

MK42 8PP

Sainsbury’s In-Store Pharmacy(100hr)

MK42 8AY

Tesco Instore Pharmacy

MK42 0BG

Lindleys Chemist

MK40 4JA

The Co-Operative Pharmacy

MK41 9BS

Bedford Pharmacy, Union Street

MK40 2SF

In-Store Pharmacy, Newnham

MK41 0SE

Wootton Pharmacy

MK43 9EZ

Meiklejohn Pharmacy

MK42 0RU

Boots The Chemists Ltd

MK42 7AZ

Kidmans Surgical Chemist

MK40 3RS

Janssen’s Pharmacy

MK42 9HG

Shortstown Pharmacy

MK42 0GE

The Village Pharmacy, Kempston Rural

MK40 4GH

Berkeley Pharmacy

MK42 9XD

Wilstead Pharmacy

MK45 3HJ