Get your free flu jab

NHS health promotion workers Ian Robson and Lisa Portman chat with shoppers Betty Sweeney and Keith Wallace in the Middleton Grange shopping centre about the benefits of geting a flu jab.
NHS health promotion workers Ian Robson and Lisa Portman chat with shoppers Betty Sweeney and Keith Wallace in the Middleton Grange shopping centre about the benefits of geting a flu jab.
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A FLU-FIGHTING squad took to the streets to urge people to get their free jabs.

The NHS team gave information and answered questions in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, in Hartlepool, about the free flu vaccine which protects those who are most at risk from the disease.

They include pregnant women and their unborn babies, children and adults with long-term health problems, anyone over 65 and carers of those in at risk group.

The flu vaccine is available now by contacting GP surgeries and is free on the NHS to eligible people to keep them safe during the winter months.

Hartlepool GP Dr Nick Timlin is warning that flu can kill despite it being an entirely preventable disease.

He said: “Last winter many people were so ill with flu they ended up in intensive care in hospitals across the North-East.

“Most of these patients were under 65 and were in at risk groups but had not taken up their free offer of the vaccine. Sadly some died.

“All of this can be prevented with the free and safe annual flu jab which is available now and includes protection against the H1N1 strain, which caused the swine flu pandemic in 2009 and continues to attack younger people.

“For this reason it is really important that all pregnant women are protected no matter what stage of pregnancy.”