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Issue 310 – Time for flu vaccinations

FROME Medical Practice is urging everyone who is recommended to have a flu vaccination to come forward for sessions in October. The inclusion of swine flu in this year’s vaccination has caused some media attention and confusion. However, everyone who is in the ‘at risk’ category is advised to still proceed. Letters will not be sent out this year, and a dedicated appointment line should be contacted.

Each year, the flu vaccination contains several different strains of flu, with swine flu included this year. Those who have already been vaccinated against swine flu are safe to have this vaccination and will benefit from the other strains of flu contained in the jab. You need to have a vaccination each year to maintain your immunity as the flu strains and vaccinations are always changing.
Those who are recommended for flu vaccination include patients with any of the following: chronic lung disease, diabetes, heart problems, liver or kidney disease, lower immunity, neurological disease, pregnant women, patients aged 65 or over or if you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person.
Pregnant women who have not already received the swine flu vaccine should receive the seasonal flu vaccine. This is because pregnant women are of increased risk of the swine flu virus, which is expected to be predominant in the 2010/11 influenza season.
The Frome Medical Practice expects to vaccinate 5,600 patients this year. People will not be written to individually as in previous years but will be expected to phone the dedicated appointment line. Please ring 301306 between 9.00am and 5.00pm to book your appointment.
Most people who get flu recover after a week or two, but some people develop life threatening complications such as pneumonia, nerve or brain damage. You are more likely to be at risk from the complications of flu if you are already in one of the at risk groups mentioned above.
Vaccination sessions are available for Saturdays 9th, 16th and 23rd October at the Health Centre, Park Road and Saffron Surgery.