Vaccine offers the best defence

Flu is much worse than a bad cold and can make even healthy people very unwell.

The best defence against flu is this year’s vaccine.

Over the last five years, around 500 deaths have occurred each winter which can be related to flu, so it is important to protect yourself against the virus.

The free flu vaccine is available at GP surgeries and clinics to protect people from the most common strains of flu circulating this winter.

The vaccine takes around ten days to work but will then help provide protection from flu for around a year.

One person who has taken up the offer of the flu vaccine is Kirstin Pollock (32), who has a one-year-old daughter, Alice, and is pregnant with her second child. She is keen to protect the health of her unborn baby as well as safeguard her own health.

She said: “It would be awful to get the flu while pregnant as there is enough to worry about when waiting for a new arrival.

“As I’m seven months pregnant I visited my GP practice for the vaccine as I want to protect myself and my unborn baby from the dangers of flu.

“I wouldn’t want to risk becoming sick, with potentially much worse consequences for both me and my unborn baby.

“The vaccine will help to protect me from flu for up to a year. It also helps to protect my baby for the first three months after the birth, which is great news and a weight off my shoulders.

“I would definitely recommend other pregnant ladies find out more about the flu vaccination by speaking to their midwife or making an appointment with their practice nurse as soon as possible. It’s not worth taking the risk of catching flu.”

Show flu who’s boss by getting the vaccine. For more about the seasonal flu immunisation programme visit or call NHS inform on 0800 22 44 88.