Residents are being urged to take up the offer of free flu vaccination before winter bites. Flu vaccinations are now underway at GP surgeries and pharmacies across the county.
Everyone aged 65 or over is entitled for the free vaccine and those in this category in Sussex are generally good at taking advantage of this service.
However, families with young children are also being reminded by West Sussex County Council that two, three and four year olds can get free flu nasal sprays.
All children in school Years one and two will also get the vaccine through the schools vaccination programme.
Christine Field, Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing, said: “We all know children aren’t as good as adults at using tissues or washing their hands when they are ill. Young children can spread the flu virus easily to their classmates and often to grandparents and other relatives. This can also lead to time off nursery or school which has a big impact on mums and dads.”
People who also qualify are pregnant women, those with certain long-term health condition and people in long-stay residential care homes as well as carers.
Mrs Field said: “Last year there was a lot of discussion about the effectiveness of the flu vaccine but it really is still the best protection we have against the flu virus.
“A new vaccine is prepared every year so we have the best protection against the viruses that are most likely to cause illnesses this winter.
“Flu is unpleasant for anyone, but for certain people, it can cause severe illness or even be fatal. That’s why those people that are entitled to a free jab should get themselves protected as early in the flu season as possible by making an appointment at their GP surgery or pharmacy.”