Every winter, says Public Health England, the vast majority of unpaid carers miss out on a free flu jab, despite the fact that they are entitled to request one.
If you receive a carer’s allowance, or you’re the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill, speak to your GP or pharmacist about getting vaccinated - along with the person you care for.
If a carer is struck down by flu they could become too ill to look after someone else. If no-one else can step in to look after the person they care for, they could be at risk.Person:Councillor Dave Houseman, cabinet member for adult social care
“Outbreaks of flu also often occur in health and social care settings where people are in close contact with each other. I had my flu jab last week and it’s vital that you have this every year as the vaccine protects against different strains of flu.”
Flu is a common infectious viral illness spread by coughs and sneezes. It can be very unpleasant. It's not the same as the common cold and is caused by a different group of viruses. The symptoms tend to start more suddenly, be more severe and last longer.
For more information about flu jabs for carers, visit Carers UK at www.carersuk.org/ and for general information around staying well this winter, visit: http://www.nhs.uk/staywell/
The message about getting a flu jab also features prominently during a week–long campaign on how everyone should plan for emergencies.
For further details, see www.llrprepared.org.uk which contains a link to quizzes, scenarios for group discussions and video clips and articles.