Over 65s and those with respiratory illness are urged to take action…

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Over 65s and those with respiratory illness are urged to take action…

Over 65s and those with respiratory illness are urged to take action to protect themselves from sepsis, pneumonia and meningitis.

The local NHS has launched a campaign to highlight the importance of pneumococcal vaccination and to improve take-up of the free NHS vaccination offer to over 65s and other vulnerable people.  Data for the East of England shows less than 5% of those eligible for free pneumococcal vaccination are taking up the offer. The vaccine offers protection against several very serious, possibly fatal infections including meningitis, sepsis and pneumonia. It can also protect you against other illnesses including sinusitis and earache.   The free NHS vaccine is offered to people who may be more vulnerable to serious illness including:

  • people aged 65 and over, and;
  • adults and children living with certain long-term conditions.

The public survey revealed that while 60% of local respondents knew the pneumococcal vaccine could protect against pneumonia, awareness of its broader benefits was significantly lower. 6% were aware of its protection against meningitis, 5% against sepsis and only 3% knew it could prevent other illnesses like sinusitis and ear infections.  Dr Anna Davey, a local GP and Board Member of NHS Mid and South Essex, said: “The pneumococcal vaccine offers protection from some potentially very serious infections that often need hospital treatment and can be fatal.  We hope this campaign will hopefully encourage people to find out more about the vaccination and book it at their GP practice. In most cases, people only need one single jab to offer lasting protection from some quite nasty illnesses.”

To find out more about the pneumococcal vaccine, who is eligible for free NHS vaccinations and where you can get it, please visit: https://www.midandsouthessex.ics.nhs.uk/health/campaigns/pneumococcal-vaccine/

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