Notts patients stay well with the winter flu jab

Nurse practitioner Julie Balmer, right, injects Doctor Kate Ardern, as she gets a flu jab to promote campaign to get members of the public vaccinated against the flu virus, at Worsley Mesnes Health Centre, Wigan.
Nurse practitioner Julie Balmer, right, injects Doctor Kate Ardern, as she gets a flu jab to promote campaign to get members of the public vaccinated against the flu virus, at Worsley Mesnes Health Centre, Wigan.

As the weather gets colder, health chiefs are reminding Nottinghamshire residents to protect themselves against winter illnesses - particularly is they have chronic kidney or liver disease.

The NHS in Nottinghamshire is stressing the importance of having an annual flu vaccination if you are at risk from the illness.

Chronic kidney and liver disease covers a range of conditions that affect how your liver and kidneys work. Those who have more severe stages of kidney disease, such as nephrotic syndrome or a kidney transplant, as well as liver conditions, such as cirrhosis, biliary atresia and chronic hepatitis are all eligible for a free flu vaccination.

If you think you have a medical condition affecting your kidneys or liver, you should talk to your GP or practice nurse to find out if you need an annual flu vaccination.

Dr Ken Deacon, medical director at NHS England North Midlands, said: “The flu vaccination is the best protection we have against the flu virus. Flu is not like having a bad cold. It is a nasty respiratory virus that can make you feel very unwell.

“If you have kidney disease the immune system is less effective and you’re at increased risk of getting infections such as pneumonia. Infections are the second most common cause of death in patients with severe kidney disease and getting an infection like flu on top of kidney disease increases your risk of being seriously ill or needing to go to hospital.”

People with flu are approximately 11 times more likely to die if they have an underlying health condition. To get the free flu jab book an appointment with the GP.

For more information, visit www.nhs.uk/staywell