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6:24pm 26th October 2012
(Updated 6:24pm 26th October 2012)
Yorkshire Ambulance Service is encouraging staff and the public to have a flu jab this winter to help relieve pressure on health services.
Flu is highly contagious and for certain groups of patients it can be a very serious illness.
In 2010-11, 602 people died from the illness in England and nearly 9,000 people were admitted to hospital.
Those at greater risk include people aged 65 or over, pregnant women, premature babies and those with long-term health conditions such as severe asthma, chest or heart complaints, liver or kidney disease and neurological conditions and diabetes.
Dr Alison Walker, Yorkshire Ambulance Service's Executive Medical Director, said: "Flu is a serious illness. The common cold is a minor illness and is not the same thing. Flu can knock you off your feet and make it hard to look after family members or go to work and, in the most serious cases, it can even be life-threatening.
"The best time to be vaccinated is at the start of the flu season from October to early November, so it's good to get in early and get flu safe in time for the winter and while there are plenty of flu jabs available. Having a flu jab is quick, safe and free for those most at risk from the virus. Contact your GP or local pharmacy now to arrange an appointment for your jab at a time convenient for you."
The vaccine changes every year to fight the latest strains of flu, so even if people had a jab last winter they need another one this year to stay safe.
For more information, speak to your GP or local pharmacist or click here.
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