The Lord Mayor of Leeds urges residents to check if they are eligible for a free flu jab this winter

The Lord Mayor of Leeds has urged residents across the city to check if they are eligible for a free flu jab this winter.

Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 4:45 pm

Ahead of the flu season the Lord Mayor of Leeds was joined by Cllr Salma Arif, Leeds City Council’s executive member for Public Health and Active Lifestyles at Chapeltown Medical Centre to receive their flu vaccination.

The flu vaccine is available for more people than ever this year, with many adults, most children, and all pregnant women now eligible for a free vaccination from the NHS.

With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it is more important than ever that everyone eligible for a free jab takes up the offer, Leeds Council said.

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Lord Mayor and Cllr Arif receiving their flu jab. PIC: Leeds Council

This is due to more people being likely to catch flu this winter as less people than normal have developed natural immunity to flu during the last 18 months, there is also research pointing towards the fact that if you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time you are more likely to be seriously ill.

The flu vaccine is an easy way to make sure that you and those around you are protected from serious illnesses this winter, the council said.

Councillor Salma Arif, Leeds City Council’s executive member for public health and active lifestyles, said: “I am really pleased to have been able to receive my flu jab from the NHS, it’s more important than ever this year so I would urge everyone across Leeds to check if they are eligible to. The vaccine represents a crucial way for people across Leeds to keep themselves and those around them safe this winter.

"As a council we are working with partners across the city to ensure people are aware of the flu vaccine and its importance this winter and I must extend a sincere thanks to all staff that are working to ensure the effective delivery of the flu jab.”

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Asghar Khan, after receiving his vaccination said he was "really grateful" to get the jab ahead of the winter.

Cllr Khan continued: “I am really grateful that I have been able to receive my free flu jab from the NHS ahead of this winter and I would urge anyone across Leeds who is eligible to do the same.

"It is important that as a city we come together this winter to look out for each other and getting the flu jab if you are eligible is an important part of that.”

Leeds City Council's chief officer for Health Protection, Dawn Bailey, added: "For most healthy people, flu symptoms can make you feel exhausted and unwell, and you have to stay at home and rest until you get better, but for people with underlying health conditions, people with learning disabilities, pregnant women or the elderly flu can be very serious.

It’s really important that if you are eligible for a free flu vaccine you take up the offer. It is offered to these vulnerable groups of people because we know that they need it to stay well during the flu season. This year with covid-19 still circulating, it is more important than ever that people take up the offer of a flu vaccination to protect from infection of the flu virus, it will also help to reduce pressure on the NHS and social care staff who may be dealing with covid-19 and flu.”

For more information on eligibility and where you can receive the flu vaccine this year please visit nhs.uk/wintervaccinations.

Am I eligible for a flu jab? - NHS advice

The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to people who:

are 50 and over (including those who'll be 50 by 31 March 2022)

have certain health conditions

are pregnant

are in long-stay residential care

receive a carer's allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick

live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)

frontline health or social care workers

are children aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2021 – born between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2019

are in primary school (reception to year 6)

are in year 7 to year 11 children in secondary school

are children aged 2 to 17 years with long-term health conditions

If you are eligible for a free flu vaccination your GP will contact, you to arrange an appointment.

To help prevent the spread of covid-19, you will be given instructions to follow when attending the practice for your vaccination and staff will be wearing special protective clothing. Please don’t turn up to your practice without an appointment.

If you’re unsure whether you should have a free vaccination, please contact your practice via their usual telephone number or speak to your pharmacist. If you are not in the at risk groups but would like a flu vaccination, you can pay for the vaccination at your local pharmacy.

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