Friday 06 October 2017
The first consignment of the 2017 formulation of 'flu vaccine has now arrived in Guernsey and has been distributed by the Pharmacy staff at the PEH to the primary care practices.
All islanders aged over 65 years and people of any age with certain medical conditions are highly likely to benefit from protection against the 'flu. Therefore, all are being urged to arrange to have the vaccine as soon as possible. These conditions include: chronic lung or heart disease; kidney or liver disease; HIV infection, diabetes; and severe obesity. It is also recommended for pregnant women; for those in long stay residential care; for healthcare workers who are directly involved in patient care; and for those who are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk.
Guernsey and Alderney's Acting Medical Officer of Health, Dr Nikki Brink says
'We know from the experiences in Australia and New Zealand who are just coming out of their winter, that this is likely to be a very heavy flu season. Flu can be very serious and the vaccination is very effective at reducing the risks. I would really like to stress the importance of Islanders aged over 65 those with medical conditions that would benefit from protection against the flu making arrangements to have the vaccine as soon as possible.'
Primary care practitioner, Dr Stephen Wray, who is a member of the islands' Immunisation Advisory Groupadds:
'The three primary care groups on the island fully support this annual flu vaccine campaign. Now is the time for those at risk to attend to ensure they have good protection during the coming flu season. Please phone your usual GP surgery to arrange this and ask to attend the dedicated flu clinic.
All children aged 2 and 3 years on 1.9.17 are also being invited once more for the free HSC funded campaign to receive the nasal spray flu vaccine at their GP surgery. These can be given in the same GP flu clinics and the vaccine used is the same nasal spray as in the infant school years. '
Children in Guernsey in school years Reception, Year 1, Year 2 , Year 3 and Year 4 are also to be offered the vaccine in the form of a spray into the nose. Mrs Karen Belton, Health Visitor explains:
'This is a quick and painless way to offer protection from the flu. Children will have been given an information letter and consent form to take home from their primary school at the start of term to return to their school. The immunisations will be offered in school by the school nurses free of charge in October and November. Further information is available from the School Nurses at Lukis House or your child's school.'
Adults who wish to find out about the cost of an appointment to have the vaccination should contact their GP's surgery.