SOUTH Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is urging people to get the flu vaccine to protect themselves and others this winter.

From Tuesday people aged 50-64 will be eligible to get the vaccine.

Flu is a very common and highly infectious disease caused by the influenza virus. It can make people seriously ill - especially older adults, very young children and people with underlying health conditions.

SWASFT is encouraging people in the region to get protected as soon as possible to fight flu and coronavirus (Covid-19).

Joseph Durling, a lead paramedic based in Marlborough, Wiltshire, said: “Being on the frontline of the NHS, I want to do all I can to stay well for my own sake and for others.

"The flu vaccine provides an easy way for anyone to protect themselves from the serious illness of influenza during the winter months.

“This winter, more than ever, we all need to do as much as possible to keep everyone well and out of hospital.

"There are lots of positive effects of a heavily vaccinated population, including slowing the spread of the flu virus and reducing the pressure on the wider NHS service provision.

“Getting the vaccine is something we can all do to help keep one-another safe. Over the past five years influenza has accounted for 17,000 deaths in the United Kingdom.

"I always take-up the yearly influenza vaccine to protect myself, patients, my family, and the NHS, of which I am proud to be a part.”

To get the flu vaccine, contact your local pharmacy or GP surgery.

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