Doctors urge ‘get vaccinated’

SIDMOUTH residents can book their annual flu vaccination through a Flu Line launching on Monday.

The vaccinations are free to everyone aged 65 or over. The Flu Line system of booking an appointment is being advocated by Dr Ed Morris and his partners at the Sidmouth Health Centre in their Annual Seasonal Flu Campaign.

The health centre also wants to vaccinate people who are particularly at risk if they contract flu. This includes those with asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, immuno-compromised patients and stoke victims. For these people, flu can lead to further complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

Vaccinations are an effective and safe way to protect against flu. After the injection, it takes about a week to 10 days for the body to form antibodies to protect against similar flu viruses. There can be minor side effects, such as slight soreness at the injection site, a mild temperature and aching muscles for one or two days.

The protection lasts about a year. It is important to have the injection between September and November, to gain the best protection before viruses start to spread in the winter.

All the doctors at the health centre and Sidford Surgery are advising patients aged 65 or over or ‘at risk’ to call the Flu Line (01395) 571220, open 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday, to book their appointment and reserve their vaccine. They should not wait for a letter of invitation, but call as soon as possible.