Are you vaccine ready for the colder months?

As we move into the colder months, infections including COVID-19, Flu, and Pneumonia start to circulate more in the community. People stay indoors more, which means viruses can pass more easily from one person to another, and the cold weather can weaken a person’s resistance to fighting infection, meaning we are all more susceptible to illness. To help protect yourself from infections, the West Northamptonshire Public Health Team are encouraging you to get vaccinated.

COVID-19 is still circulating. You may be able to get a seasonal COVID-19 vaccine in Autumn 2023 if you are at increased risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19. For example, this may be due to a health condition or your age. The NHS will contact you if your NHS record suggests you may be eligible. 

Flu (or Influenza) symptoms can be similar to a bad cold but affects more than just the nose and throat.  A person can also experience a temperature and feel exhausted and too unwell to carry on as normal. The national Flu Programme begins in September 2023 until early 2024 and is expected to include people who are 65 years old or over, people under 65 years old who have certain health conditions or are in long-stay residential care.  Your GP will contact you when they are offering the Flu vaccination with information about how to arrange this with them, or you can go along to a Community Pharmacy or other site offering this service.

Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs caused by bacteria which can cause a serious infection that can lead to you being hospitalised. This can help to be avoided by ensuring you have had your pneumococcal vaccine; this vaccine is offered to those aged 65 and over who are more at risk of developing a serious infection.  You should be invited by your GP when you are eligible.

Shingles is caused by a viral infection that leads to the development of a painful rash which normally appears on the chest and tummy but can appear anywhere on the body. The virus can have serious health outcomes and can also be fatal. Those aged 70-79 are offered the shingles vaccine to help protect themselves later in life and avoid any related health complications.  When you are eligible your GP will invite you to attend.

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