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Stay Healthy This Winter

Now Winter is well and truly upon us here in the UK, we are naturally spending much more time inside, which sadly means it’s far easier for viruses like Covid-19 (especially the Omicron variant) and flu to spread between human beings. The good news is that you and your family can look after yourselves and limit the spread just by getting vaccinated. If you are eligible for a booster because of your age or because you have a health condition that puts you at higher risk from catching Covid-19, it really is wise to have your booster as soon as you can.

According to the NHS.UK website Flu vaccination is really important because:

  1. more people are likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the COVID-19 pandemic
  2. if you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time, research shows you're more likely to be seriously ill
  3. getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 will provide protection for you and those around you for both these serious illnesses

If you've had Covid-19, the latest professional health advice is that it's safe to have the flu vaccine. It will still be effective at helping to prevent flu. Have a flu vaccine – it’s free if you qualify. Unfortunately, during the pandemic, much fewer people than normal have built up immunity to flu due to the various lockdowns, changes in behaviour and social distancing, so having a flu jab is a really a sensible idea, especially this particular Winter.

If you have only had one dose of an approved UK Covid-19 vaccine, you can still get your 2nd dose or even your 1st dose, as it’s not too late. The vaccines are safe, effective and worldwide have saved millions of lives – so do please have yours as soon as you can.

Currently in the UK children aged 12-15 are being vaccinated against Covid-19 with one dose and this is being rolled out via schools. Or should you wish to book online or you can walk into some clinics.

For all the latest up to date facts about UK vaccines, go to trustworthy websites you can rely on, like www.nhs.uk/wintervaccinations

So do please make sure you look after yourself, or loved ones, friends and neighbours this Winter

Particularly if you or they are 65 or over, or in another high-risk group. If you or they feel unwell, it is important to get medical help as soon as you can for yourself or them.

Physiological changes to our bodies as we all get older mean that cold weather and winter infections affect us more than they used to when we were younger and/or fitter.

More than any previous Winter in living memory with the Omicron variant threatening to become the most dominant within weeks, it is a medically proven fact that sadly Covid-19 can have more of an impact the older we are.

You may not have anyone nearby or your family may not be as near as you would like, or even be abroad. But regardless, please be assured that you can get help and advice from places like:

Your Local Doctor – you may be able to speak to a General Practitioner online or over the telephone, or go in for an appointment if they think you really need to.

Your Local Pharmacy – pharmacists are able to give treatment advice for a range of minor illnesses and can tell you if you need to see a GP.

NHS 111 – Visit www.111.nhs.uk or call 111 if you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do next.

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