'Third of over 65's missed last year's flu vaccination'

Computer graphic of a flu virus. Credit: DPA DEUTSCHE PRESS-AGENTUR/DPA/PA Images

According to Public Health Wales a third of the over 65s in Wales missed out on getting protection against influenza last year, a virus which can and does kill every year, despite the vaccine being made free of charge as part of NHS care.

Pensioners are now being urged to protect themselves as early as possible and get their vaccine before influenza starts circulating in Wales.

People aged 65 or over are at a higher risk than the general population of developing complications of influenza so if they catch it they are more likely to become dangerously unwell. As we get older our immune systems also age and we become less effective at fighting infection which is why the flu vaccine is so important for everyone aged 65 and over.

Influenza is a serious illness caused by a virus that affects the lungs and airways. Symptoms generally come on suddenly and can include fever, chills, headache, cough, muscle aches and fatigue. So for many older people, influenza can be fatal.

It is worth remembering that Influenza cannot be treated with antibiotics. The vaccination also helps prevent the spread of the virus, so getting vaccinated helps keep you and those around you safe. It’s a win-win situation.

– Angharad Phillips, Age Cymru’s Health Initiatives Officer

More information here.