A Shropshire pharmacist has said local residents have shown a great respect for their own health after the number of people getting a flu vaccine increased by 20per cent this season – despite numbers remaining stagnant across the whole of Shropshire.
Pharmacist Ian Swindell administered flu vaccinations at the family owned business in Hereford Road, Shrewsbury, and pharmacist Helen Grass administered them at the pharmacy in Roushill, Shrewsbury.
Mr Swindell said the number of people coming to Lunts to protect themselves this winter was a stark contrast to the picture at pharmacies across our county.
He said: “More vulnerable people than ever have turned to us to help them ward off the flu.
“The number of flu vaccinations we administered this winter season was up 20 per cent – which is remarkable considering last season there were warnings of a particularly bad winter.
“Last year we doubled the number of injections administered at the Hereford Road branch and saw a rise of 60 per cent at Roushill compared to the year before.
“To see the figures rise by a fifth again is very pleasing.
“It is particularly pleasing considering the NHS has announced that across Shropshire as a whole the uptake at pharmacies remained constant in comparison to last year.
“Now the winter is coming to an end, we’re pleased to report many people took our advice and got themselves protected at Lunts.”
He added: “Of course, we know there are some residents in the at-risk groups who are still not visiting their local pharmacy or GP practice to get a jab so we will continue our efforts next winter to make people aware of the risks.”
Flu causes 600 deaths on average every year in the UK.
Certain residents are eligible for a free flu jab including those aged 65 and over, pregnant women, people with certain medical conditions, anyone living in a long-stay residential care home or those who are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person.
Symptoms of flu can include a sudden high fever, dry chesty cough, chills, tiredness and joint pains as well as a sore throat and diarrhoea. Pharmacists can give advice and recommend flu remedies and most cases should resolve themselves without the need for a doctor, except where the person is in an at-risk group or where symptoms last longer than seven days.