Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Mum's Plea for Flu Jab Take-Up; as Winter Draws in, Doctors Are Urging People to Get Vaccinated against Swine Flu. JOANNE BUTCHER Looks at Who Is at Risk

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Mum's Plea for Flu Jab Take-Up; as Winter Draws in, Doctors Are Urging People to Get Vaccinated against Swine Flu. JOANNE BUTCHER Looks at Who Is at Risk

Article excerpt

Byline: JOANNE BUTCHER

AMOTHER and daughter from Northumberland are urging people to get vaccinated against swine flu to protect themselves and their families from the illness.

Julia Young and her one-yearold daughter Olivia Sunday, who live near Morpeth, have both been vaccinated against swine flu.

The pair fall into groups of people considered at risk from the disease, so they got their jabs from their GP in a bid to keep themselves safe from the bug this winter.

The condition continues to be mild in the majority of cases but it can be much more serious for some people, so patients in the priority groups are being encouraged to take up the offer of a vaccination.

Julia, who is the flu director for NHS North of Tyne, suffers from asthma and after a particularly nasty attack which left her in hospital last year she isn't taking any chances.

She has been vaccinated against both seasonal and swine flu.

Her daughter Olivia Sunday is among children aged between six months and five who are being vaccinated against swine flu under the campaign to protect people who fall into the at-risk groups.

Julia, who is also mother to Caitlin, seven, said: "Olivia Sunday is having all of her immunisations and the swine flu vaccination is a really important part of keeping your child healthy. "This age group has been identified as the next priority group for the swine flu vaccine because they are more likely to be hospitalised if they fall ill.

"They also have high rates of admission to critical care and, sadly, there have also been some deaths."

She added: "I was particularly poorly with asthma last year and I don't want to go into hospital again, so I am making sure I am protected from seasonal and swine flu as well.

"By being vaccinated we are also helping to protect the rest of our family." Dr Mike Guy, Northumberland GP and medical director for NHS North of Tyne, said it was vital that at-risk groups made sure they got the jab as soon as possible.

"I can't stress enough the importance of having both the swine flu and seasonal flu vaccines as they can save lives for those people who are in the at-risk groups and therefore may be more severely affected by these illnesses," he explained. …

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