People who have a learning disability can be more susceptible to the effects of flu and at increased risk of developing complications such as bronchitis or pneumonia.
GP practices and community pharmacies have started their annual pre-winter programme of carrying out vaccinations for those at risk. A full list of those eligible for a free jab is below.
The vaccine offers the best level of protection from the flu virus, and it’s important to have it annually, especially as the flu virus strain changes every year.
Anyone defined as being in an ‘at risk’ group should contact their surgery and arrange an appointment to have the vaccine.
Having the vaccine sooner provides the individual with protection over a longer period of time; it also helps reduce the chances of spreading the virus to family and friends.
Anyone with a learning disability is entitled to receive a free vaccination. GPs are also keen that the carers of anyone with a learning disability also take up their offer of a free flu jab. All carers are urged to ensure they are registered at their local GP practice as a carer of someone with a learning disability.
Dr Andrew Holden, the primary care lead for NHS Fareham and Gosport and South Eastern Hampshire clinical commissioning groups said: “We would urge everyone entitled to have a free flu vaccination to take up the offer as soon as possible.
“It is particularly important for people in certain clinical ‘at risk groups, such as those with a learning disability, who can be more susceptible to flu and can go on to develop more serious complications.
“We’d also encourage the carers of anyone with a learning disability to get the vaccine from their GP surgery.”
The flu vaccine is free to: