It is not ‘just the flu’

Doctors and health care leaders in Bromley are urging residents to get a flu jab, especially those who are most at risk including the over 65s.   This year people living in a Covid-19 shielding household are also entitled to get a free flu jab. 

Dr Jon Doyle, Bromley GP advises “Each year the flu kills around 11,000 people and hospitalises thousands more.  If you are in one of the at-risk groups, please get your free flu vaccination.  It is vital you have one as it will help protect you and those around you from what can be a severe and sometimes fatal illness which could lead to hospital treatment. ​ Arrangements are in place in all Bromley GP surgeries to safely provide the flu jab.  This includes social distancing measures, face masks and hand hygiene. ​

“The flu is not the same as a cold.  It is caused by a different group of viruses and the symptoms start more suddenly, are more severe and last longer.  Make an appointment with your GP or visit your local pharmacy as soon as possible to get yours”.

Mary Stirling, a patient at South View ​Partnership in Bromley had an excellent experience getting her flu jab.   “I received a text asking me to contact the practice using a dedicated number and a time to call to make my appointment.  I was put through straight away to arrange my vaccination.  When I went to the surgery, I had my temperature and ​contact details checked and then went straight in.  ​There was a one-way system ​with several doctors in attendance ​in individual rooms enabling me to be in and out in five minutes.   Huge credit to South View ​Partnership for organising this so efficiently”.  

This winter, many more people are eligible to have the free flu vaccine.This includes the over 65s, pregnant women, those with long term health conditions such as diabetes, asthma, COPD, heart disease etc, and those living in a shielding household. Children aged 2-3 can get a free nasal spray at their GP practice. School aged children up to year 7 will be offered the vaccine at school – if you have an eligible child, please make sure they get it to help stop the spread of flu.​  More information about the flu and who is entitled to a free jab is available at www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/

 Staff working in Bromley health and care services are getting vaccinated to help protect themselves and the people they care for.  Please stay well and help your local NHS by getting your flu jab this winter.