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The ‘flu is an unpredictable virus that for the healthy can be very unpleasant and debilitating, causing mild or unpleasant illness, but for those more vulnerable can cause severe illness and even death.  Those at greatest risk include the elderly, those pregnant and those with underlying health conditions.  It’s possible to develop quite serious complications from ‘flu including bronchitis and pneumonia.

Many people opt for a ‘flu vaccination as a way of helping to protect themselves.

Flu vaccinations are beneficial to many groups including those who have:

  • respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
  • heart disease or failure
  • organ issues such as chronic kidney or liver disease, spleen problems including sickle cell disease
  • chronic neurological conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, motor neuron disease or multiple sclerosis
  • diabetes
  • a weakened immune system due to conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or resulting from medication such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
  • weight issues

The above are some examples, its always best to consult with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

Pregnant women and the flu jab

If you’re pregnant, you’re advised to have a flu vaccine injection regardless of the stage of pregnancy you’ve reached as there’s strong evidence to suggest pregnant women have an increased risk of developing complications from the flu.

Benefits of having the vaccination include:

  • it reduces your chance of getting serious complications of flu, such as pneumonia, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy
  • it reduces your risk of having a miscarriage, or your baby being born prematurely or with a low birth weight because of the flu
  • it will help protect your baby as they will continue to have some immunity to flu for the first few months of their life

It is safe to have the flu vaccine at any stage of pregnancy from conception onwards.

If you would like to speak to a Doctor regarding ‘flu injections then the London General Practice runs a drop in ‘flu clinic.  Call the Practice on 0207 935 1000.