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Flu vaccine

Public urged to get flu jabs to avoid delays

ANYONE who should be getting the flu vaccine is urged to get their jab as early possible this year to avoid the delays and even chaos we witnessed last year. 
Last year there were issues with flu vaccine supplies locally and it took a lot longer than doctors had hoped to roll out the vaccination programme across Fermanagh. When Maple Health Centre organised a flu jab day last October, such was the demand it brought the town to a complete standstill. 
With the winter fast approaching once again, local peopl are urged to get their jabs as early as they can. Health workers, anyone over 65, pregnant women, and anyone with a weakened immune system or underlying health condition such as heart or respiratory are urged to get the shot. That’s because anyone in these groups is at risk or developing serious flu complications, such as pneumonia. 
“It takes approximately two weeks following vaccination to develop maximum protection against flu,” said Dr Jillian Johnston from the Public Health Agency (PHA)
“Everyone who is eligible should aim to have their vaccine early, according to their GP surgery’s arrangements, and before flu activity generally increases. If you wait until cases of flu are widespread, it may be too late for the vaccine to offer you any protection.”
Dr Johnston said pre-school children over two-years-old were also eligible to get the vaccine from their GP and primary pupils from their school health service. She reassured people the vaccines are safe, did not give you the flu, and urged against complacency ten years on from the swine flu outbreak. 
Chief medical officer Dr Michael McBride also urged high uptake of the jab: “Each year, seasonal flu is a key factor in causing winter pressures on the health service.  It impacts on those who fall ill, the health services that provide direct care, and on the wider health and social care system.
 
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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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