Influenza or ‘flu’ is a highly infectious viral illness. People can catch flu at any time of year although it is more common in winter months. For most healthy people, flu is an unpleasant but self-limiting illness. However, flu is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality among older people and those with underlying health conditions.
The flu vaccine reduces the risk of catching flu, as well as spreading it to others. The following groups of people are at higher risk of complications from flu, or spreading it to others, and are therefore eligible for an annual NHS flu jab:
- People aged 65+
- People aged under 65 in a clinical risk group
- Pregnant women
- Younger children (currently 2-10 year olds)
- Health & social care workers
This report summarises Oldham’s performance during the 2017-18 NHS Seasonal Influenza Immunisation Programme. Further data is available in the Greater Manchester briefing which can be accessed here.