People aged over 65 years living across Bath are receiving a new type of flu jab this year, which is considered to be more effective for this age group than the other vaccines available.
The new vaccine is one of three types of flu jabs offered to individuals who are eligible for free vaccination, to make sure as many people as possible get the right jab to protect them against flu this winter.
Chris Clapp, Practice Manager at The Pulteney Practice in Bath speaking on behalf of the 24 GP practices in B&NES, said: “This year, GP practices and pharmacies are receiving their stocks of the new vaccine in deliveries during September, October and November.
“This means if you’re over 65 years, you might get called in or offered your flu jab slightly later than you did last year, but it’s still really important that you get your jab, even if it is later in the season than usual.
“It’s the most effective way to protect you against flu and the complications flu can bring.”
If you are eligible for a free flu jab because you are aged 65 years or over, have a long-term medical condition like asthma or diabetes, or you are pregnant, you can get vaccinated at your GP practice or at a community pharmacy offering a vaccination service.
Dr Ian Orpen, Clinical Chair of NHS Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, whose membership includes all GP practices in B&NES said: “Typically, older adults’ bodies do not respond as well to the flu vaccine because of their naturally weakened immune systems.
“This new vaccine works to improve the immune response in over 65s, who are also at more risk of serious complications if they do catch flu.”
The new vaccine is also expected to help reduce the number of GP consultations this winter by up to 30,000.
It could also reduce the number of people admitted to hospital by 2,000 and prevent more than 700 deaths from flu across England, helping to reduce some of the health burden that flu can place on the NHS, workplaces and the wider population.
If you are eligible for a free flu jab or want to check whether you or someone close to you is, contact your GP, midwife or usual healthcare provider.