1. ITV Report

People urged to get winter flu jab to avoid ‘serious complications’

Over sixty fives in Wales are being warned they could be at risk if they don't get a flu vaccine this winter.

Those at risk includes pregnant women and those with certain long term health conditions Credit: PA

Last year, a third of older people missed out on their free flu jab. The vaccine can help protect against serious complications.

Flu can be very serious for older people, and the annual 'Beat Flu' immunisation programme is now underway throughout Wales.

It encourages people most at risk of serious complications from flu to protect themselves with a free flu jab.

Those at risk includes pregnant women and those with certain long term health conditions, such as diabetes.

Public Health Wales are warning people about the dangers of flu with the message “Beat flu before it beats you!”

If you are aged 65 or over, or have a long-term health condition, you are more at risk of complications from flu than other people and it can also make any existing health condition worse. Flu can even lead to a hospital stay.

– Ian Thomas, Age Cymru

The virus changes from year to year, so having a flu vaccine annually is the best way to protect against catching or spreading flu, according to Public Health Wales.

You can have the jab at your GP and many community pharmacies also offer the vaccine.

For most people influenza is usually a relatively minor, albeit unpleasant and inconvenient, illness. But every year vulnerable people can, and do, die from flu and its many complications.

– Dr Richard Roberts, Public Health Wales

Flu spreads when someone with the virus coughs or sneezes, releasing infected droplets into the air. If you touch a contaminated surface, you may also catch the flu. It can spread quickly in places such as hospitals, care homes and schools.

Children aged two and three are being offered a nasal spray to protect them against the virus, while four to seven year olds are being offered vaccines at school.