02/10/2008

'Get The Flu Jab' Stresses Ulster's Top Doc

Northern Ireland's top doctor has urged the most vulnerable in society to get vaccinated against the flu this winter.

The Chief Medical Officer's advice comes after it was revealed health authorities have stockpiled thousands of drugs to protect those "at risk".

More than 260,000 people will be contacted by their GP this winter - urging them to get the flu jab, which can protect against serious medical conditions.

Dr Michael McBride said: "Catching the winter flu is an unpleasant experience for most, but for more vulnerable groups, it can lead to complications that are more serious.
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"The winter flu vaccination programme specifically targets these groups so that they are better prepared to fight off infection,

"I would strongly encourage all those 'at risk' who receive an invitation from their GP to protect themselves by getting this year's vaccination - particularly those aged over 65," stressed the Chief Medical Officer.

Those suffering from diseases – such as multiple sclerosis - or other serious medical conditions are classed as most at risk.

Former cancer patients and people receiving steroid treatment are also considered as being at risk.

Children who have previously been admitted to hospital with chest complaints are urged to get the vaccine.

As are carers, and those living in a residential or nursing home, where the infection can spread quickly.

(PR)

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