People with learning disabilities across Shropshire urged to get flu jab

Health bosses in Shropshire are encouraging people with learning disabilities to get their flu jabs as soon as possible.

Those with a learning disability can be more susceptible to the effects of flu and are at an increased risk of developing complications such as bronchitis or pneumonia.

Carers of anyone with a learning disability are also entitled to the free vaccination.

All carers, whether they are family members or a support worker, are urged to ensure they are registered at their local GP practice as a carer of someone with a learning disability.

Individuals should also be on their GP Learning Disability Register to access the best care.

GP practices and community pharmacies are carrying out vaccinations for those at risk.

It is important to have the vaccine every year, especially as the flu virus strain changes.

Julian Povey, joint chair of Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “Flu is a very unpleasant illness.

"The symptoms can be miserable for many of us, but it can lead to more serious complications, those who fall within certain clinical ‘at risk’ groups are more likely to experience those complications.

"People with a learning disability are more likely to fall into one of the 'at risk' groups and therefore can be more susceptible to develop more serious complications like pneumonia.

"Respiratory conditions remain the most significant causes of premature mortality for people with a learning disability where deaths have been reviewed as part of the learning disabilities mortality review programme.

“I’d urge those with a learning disability to make sure they have the vaccination as soon as possible.

"They should also ask to have their annual health check.

"Carers of anyone with a learning disability should also get the free vaccine from their GP surgery or community pharmacy.”

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