Health Centre Urging Vulnerable People To Get Flu Jab

Isles of Scilly Health Centre

Isles of Scilly Health Centre

With winter just around the corner, the Health Centre is launching new flu vaccination clinics tomorrow, starting on Tresco. And this year there’s a new process for getting a jab and special protection on offer for younger islanders.

Community nurse Fran Clark says people are often unaware just how dangerous and debilitating the influenza virus is, even for healthy people. And for people in the ‘at risk’ groups, the vaccination could be a lifesaver.

Fran says anyone over 65, people with heart, liver or kidney disease, diabetics, pregnant women, anyone who’s had a stroke in the past or has reduced immunity and adults or children with asthma and chronic lung conditions such as COPD should come along to get the vaccination.

This year 2 to 4 year olds are also being offered protection through a nasal vaccine, which doesn’t need an injection.

Fran says having a flu jab can also help protect other people as its not spread around so easily. It only lasts for 12 months so needs to be repeated every year for the new flu strains that come along.

Fran says the Health Centre are trying a new drop-in clinic approach, rather than appointments, with two sessions being held on St Mary’s – on Saturday 4th October between 10am and 1pm and then again on Wednesday 8th October between 4pm and 6pm.

That should offer people a bit more flexibility on when they get their jabs, she says.

Flu clinics will run on the off islands starting tomorrow (30th September) on Tresco, St Martin’s on the 1st October and Bryher on 2nd October, all starting at 2pm.

The St Agnes clinic is running on the 9th October.

Any patients eligible for pneumonia or the shingles vaccine can also have these during the clinics.

Fran says the jab doesn’t hurt although occasionally patients may have a sore arm and slight fever. But she says headaches and feeling a bit ‘off colour’ for a day or two occurs in up 10% of people while their immune system kicks in.

The local health team usually do about 600 vaccinations per flu season so it’s a big job, says Fran, and they want to make it as straightforward and uncomplicated for everyone as possible.

If you can’t make one of the clinics or would like further information, you should ring the Health Centre on 422628.