Flu jabs save lives
Getting a seasonal flu jab is the best way to defend yourself against the flu; this was the message from London MEP Marina Yannakoudakis today at a workshop she organised at the European Parliament.
Marina, who is Conservative Health Spokesman in the European Parliament, told the workshop: Hundreds of thousands of people across Europe will catch the flu this winter and unfortunately some of them will die. Older people and those with chronic diseases are the most likely to get severely ill. Getting vaccinated is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself and others from the flu.
In the UK, the flu jab is offered free to those 65 years old or over, pregnant women or those with a serious medical condition such as long-term respiratory, heart, kidney or liver diseases. Everyone should consider getting immunised - its even possible to get the jab in the supermarket nowadays - but older and atrisk patients should see their GP for the vaccine.
The workshop was organised in co-operation with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and attended by the centres director Dr. Marc Sprenger. ECDC studies have shown that the flu vaccines currently in use are very safe. Dr. Sprenger told the forum that a programme of vaccination would both prevent serious illnesses and save lives.
The workshop was also attended by Adrian Streinu-Cercel, State Secretary of the Ministry of Health of Romania. Prof. Streinu-Cercel is also the President of his countryֻs national Committee for Infectious Diseases.