Thousands of carers across Birmingham are missing out on a free flu jab each year – putting themselves and the person they care for at risk.
Birmingham carers are being urged to become flu fighters this winter – to protect themselves and the people they care for.
Director of Public Health, Dr Adrian Phillips, is encouraging all carers to check with their GP to see if they’re eligible for a free flu jab to reduce the risk to their own health and the person they care for.
Every winter, 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 are 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 having a free flu jab along with the person you care for.
Dr Phillips said: “As a carer, you want to do everything you can to help protect those in your care. So if you’re entitled to a free flu jab, please take the opportunity. It’s free because you need it.
“The alternative can be disastrous. If you’re struck down by the flu and become too ill to care, there may be no-one else who can step in to help. You could also pass on the virus and make the person you care for seriously ill, especially if they have a lowered immune system.
“Getting flu when you already have a long-term condition can lead to serious complications, and it can even be a killer.”
For more information about flu jabs for carers, visit Carers UK at https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/health/looking-after-your-health/flu-jabs
Picture caption: Protect the person you care for from flu this winter.
Note to editors
Flu vaccinations are currently offered free of charge to the following ‘at-risk’ groups:
- those aged 65 years and over
- those aged six months to under 65 with a serious medical condition, such as:
- chronic (long-term) respiratory disease, such as severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchitis
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic kidney disease at stage three, four or 5
- chronic liver disease
- chronic neurological disease, such as Parkinson’s disease or motor neurone disease
- splenic dysfunction
- a weakened immune system due to disease (such as HIV/AIDS) or treatment (such as cancer treatment)
- pregnant women
- all two, three and four-year-olds (on 31 August 2015)
- all children of school years 1 and 2 age:
- Year 1 school age: 5 year olds, rising to 6 year olds (i.e. date of birth between 1st September 2009 and on or before 31st August 2010)
- Year 2 school age: 6 year olds, rising to 7 years olds (i.e. date of birth between 1st September 2008 and on or before 31st August 2009)
- primary school-aged children in areas that previously participated in primary school pilots in 2014/15
- those in long-stay residential care homes