Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

It's Just the Jab

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

It's Just the Jab

Article excerpt

Byline: By Jane Picken

Life-saving flu jabs were given to thousands of pensioners on Tyneside over the weekend. Health reporter Jane Picken met some of the older people among the first batch to get their free immunisation against the potentially deadly disease

Vulnerable people across the North East are being urged to get their free flu-fighting jabs in time for winter.

The first batch of elderly people have been given the annual immunisations as local health bosses launch a campaign to save thousands against the potentially fatal illness.

Over the next few weeks anyone over the age of 65 or those suffering from asthma, diabetes, or a serious heart, chest or kidney condition, should be able get their free jab at GP surgeries and clinics.

Retired HGV driver Derek Mitchell, from Dumpling Hall, Newcastle, was among the first in the North East to get their flu jabs over the weekend.

The 71-year-old great-grandfather joined more than 1,000 pensioners at the Throckley Primary Care Centre on Saturday.

"I've had it every time and it's fine," explained Derek, who has eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

"I've never had any problems and it only takes a few minutes."

"The injection only takes a minute and is safe , effective, and free for those who are at risk," said Throckley practice manager Dr John Bookless.

"Flu can last up to a week or 10 days and can make people very poorly. We know older people are much more likely to develop pneumonia and die as a result of flu."

Rona Watson and husband Brian, both 70, were also at the centre to get their jabs.

Great-grandmother Rona, who worked at the old doctors' surgery in Throckley for 15 years, said: "I'm diabetic, so I have to get my jab before the winter starts. I think having the injection keeps me in better health. I still get colds, but it doesn't get any worse than that. …

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