NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group is urging people to stay well this winter in support of the national campaign by Public Health England and NHS England.

The campaign has started with a national flu vaccination programme for children, which this year seeks to help over three million 2-6 year olds, as the programme is extended to children in school years 1 and 2.

For the first time, all youngest primary school children will be eligible to receive the free nasal spray vaccine, making this the largest school-based vaccination programme in England involving children in 17,000 schools.

As in previous years, the adult flu vaccine will also be offered for free to those in groups at particular risk of infection and complications from flu. The groups being offered the adult flu vaccine are:

  • Pregnant women
  • Those aged 65 or over
  • Those aged under 65 with long-term conditions
  • Carers

NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group clinical chief officer and local GP, Dr Tony Naughton, said: “For most of us flu is an unpleasant illness; however for the most vulnerable in society – small children, the elderly, those with long-term health problems and pregnant women – it can be incredibly dangerous and it can kill.

“Having the flu jab really is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from catching flu – if you’re eligible for the free vaccine on the NHS then I would encourage you to have it.”

As well as protecting against flu, the NHS Stay Well This Winter campaign will urge people over 65 or those with long-term health conditions, such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease or respiratory illness, to prepare for winter with advice on how to ward off common illnesses.

The NHS ‘Stay Well This Winter’ campaign urges people to:

  • Make sure you get your flu jab if eligible.
  • Keep yourself warm – heat your home to least 18 degrees C or (65F) if you can.
  • If you start to feel unwell, even if it’s just a cough or a cold, then get help from your pharmacist quickly before it gets more serious.
  • Make sure you get your prescription medicines before pharmacies close on Christmas Eve.
  • Always take your prescribed medicines as directed.
  • Look out for other people who may need a bit of extra help over winter.

Dr Naughton added: “We want to make sure people have the information they need to help them to look after themselves and to know where they can go for urgent advice – whether it’s pharmacies, NHS Choices, NHS111 or A&E.

“It’s also really important that we do what we can to help others stay well. Older people make up the largest group of people who are admitted to hospital in the winter. So if you have older neighbours and friends, please do look out for them over the winter months.”

Find out more about staying well this winter.