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Dr Doreen Tipton reminds patients across Dudley to get the Flu Jab

Doreen Tipton has joined health professionals to urge patients across the Black and West Birmingham to get their free flu jabs before the winter sets in.

In a video, launched by Futureproof Health, the Black Country comic icon, Doreen Tipton, reminds residents that it’s time for those at greatest risk from flu to protect themselves and their families with a free flu jab.

Flu is a highly contagious infection that anyone can catch, and it can be a really serious illness for some. Those at greater risk from flu include people aged 65 or over, pregnant women, and those with a long term health conditions such as severe asthma, chest or heart complaints and diabetes.

Over 25 million people will be offered the a free flu jab this year, including children aged 2-11 years who will be offered the nasal spray vaccine in the coming weeks.

Doreen explains if you care for someone over 65, it’s advisable to get vaccinated too, she says, “you need to protect yourself, in order to protect them”. Dr Kevin Dawes, from Future Proof Health, said:

“Flu is not just a cold – it can be a really serious illness for some people and it doesn’t just affect older people. If you’re pregnant, have lowered immunity or a long term health condition then you should also get a free flu jab from your GP. The flu jab is completely safe, and it can’t give you flu.”

The flu vaccine changes every year to fight the latest strains of flu, so even if you had a jab last winter you need another one this year to stay flu safe. The jab doesn’t contain the ‘live’ virus so it cannot give you the flu. Dr Dawes added:

“Flu can increase the risk of developing more serious illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and can make existing conditions much worse. Flu can knock you off your feet and make it hard to look after the kids or go to work.

"In the most serious cases, seasonal flu might land you in hospital – it can even be a killer. So Help Us, Help You by ensuring that you, your children or relatives take up the free and convenient flu vaccine as soon as you can”.

The best time to be vaccinated is at the start of the flu season from October to early November, so it’s good to get in early and get flu safe in time for the winter.

Simply contact your GP to arrange a convenient appointment and get your jab. It’s quick, safe and free for those most at risk from the virus.

For more information, speak to your GP or local pharmacist, or visit www.nhs.uk/flu.

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