The impending flu season threatens to be severe, Shropshire pharmacist gives advice

Experts have warned the impending flu season could be more severe and result in more illness than previous years - and a Shropshire pharmacist is urging people in the county to prepare.

NHS England have warned there could be more cases of flu than usual after Australia and New Zealand experienced their worst outbreak for several years.

Ian Swindell, of Lunts pharmacies, is urging those considered ‘at risk’ to get their flu vaccinations at their Shrewsbury stores.

The family-owned pharmacies in Hereford Road and Roushill are offering free NHS flu vaccinations to those at risk without appointment as well as a private service to anyone who does not qualify for the NHS service.

Mr Swindell, a pharmacist, said: “It is vital those at risk of the sometimes serious effects of flu get their vaccination straight away.

“This can be a busy time of year for GPs, which is why we are offering to carry out vaccinations at our Hereford Road and Roushill branches.

“Our pharmacists who carry out the injections are fully trained and the process is simple and quick.”

You should get a flu vaccination if you are aged 65 or over, are pregnant, have a serious medical condition, are very overweight or live in a residential or nursing home.

You should also consider it if you are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person or are parent to a child who is aged six months to two years, as you becoming ill could put them at risk.

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, all for up to a week.

Complications such as pneumonia - which can be fatal - can occur in certain groups of people.

Mr Swindell added: “If you had a vaccination last year you still need one this year.

“It can take up to 10 days for the vaccine to get to work and for your body to produce antibodies to protect you from the flu virus.”

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