Flu roadshows: coming to a venue near you

RESIDENTS can find out exactly why it is so important to be vaccinated against flu in the next few weeks.

A series of flu-safe roadshows are being held at popular venues in the run-up to winter. People will be able to find out the full facts about flu, if they are in one of the priority groups to get the jab, and ask any questions they may have.

The roadshows are being backed by the county’s clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), the new health organisations led by clinicians who will be responsible for commissioning healthcare for patients.

Alison Cowie, director of Public Health at NHS North Essex, said: said: “Flu isn’t like a bad cold – it can be much more serious. In the groups most at risk it can lead to very considerable complications and make any existing conditions worse.

“We are running these roadshows to get that message across to as many people as possible, and give them the opportunity to ask questions and find out the facts.”

Date and venues for the roadshows:

• Epping Forrest, Monday Market Stall on high St (opposite Costa and Barclays bank), November 26, 10am–3pm

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• Maldon, Market in Maldon Town Hall, December 1, 10am–3pm

• Harlow, The Water Gardens Shopping Centre, November 25, 10am– 3pm

• Chelmsford, Boots, Chelmer Village Retail Park, November 30, 10am-3pm

• Saffron Walden, Town Market, Kings St (opposite Cancer Research shop), December 1, 10am-3pm

• Braintree, Charter Way, Chapel Hill, Outlet Shopping Village, December 8, 10am– 3pm

Ms Cowie added: “Flu is a highly infectious illness caused by a virus. The types of virus in circulation change every year as does the vaccine, so it is important that you have the jab this winter, even if you had it last year.

“To help protect yourself and those around you make sure you have a flu jab at your local GP surgery.

“And remember, the flu jab does not contain live viruses, so it cannot give you the flu.”

Priority groups include those aged over 65, pregnant women, people with an existing serious medical condition, those living in a residential or nursing home, and people who are the main carers for an elderly or disabled person who may be at risk if they are ill.

For more information on flu, speak to your GP or local pharmacist, or visit nhs.uk/flu.