Flu jab given at some pharmacies in Wales for first time

Medical authorities stress that flu is a preventable disease

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The flu vaccine will be available from some pharmacies in Wales for the first time, the Welsh government has announced.

It comes as the annual flu jab campaign was launched at a health centre in Cardiff.

Selected pharmacists have undergone training to administer the injection.

The Chief Medical Officer Dr Ruth Hussey said she wanted to encourage as many people as possible in high risk groups to get vaccinated.

Details of the 137 pharmacies across Wales chosen to provide the vaccine are available from NHS Direct.

"Flu spreads easily and can cause serious illness which would need to be treated in hospital," said Dr Hussey.

"People with the [high risk] conditions are at greater risk of having a serious illness if they had flu. That's why we encourage people in these groups to get the vaccine."

Flu can lead to other severe health complications.

High risk groups

"People know that the vaccine is available for the over 65s, but many people living with other health conditions aren't always aware that they can get vaccinated as well," Dr Hussey said.

"It is really important that people who are in at-risk groups do get vaccinated."

Those who should receive the jab include:

  • The over-65s and people in long term care
  • People with long term respiratory disease, such as severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchitis
  • People with long term heart, renal or liver disease, neurological disease and diabetes.
  • People with a weakened immune system due to diseases such as HIV and Aids or cancer.

Health professionals, carers, pregnant women and members of voluntary organisations who provide emergency first aid at public events should also receive the vaccine.

The move has been welcomed Community Pharmacy Wales who say it will encourage more people to get vaccinated.

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