Almost 100 people went to hospital after catching flu in Eastbourne, Hailsham, and Seaford last year

People are being urged to get the free flu jab
People are being urged to get the free flu jab

Eighty-nine people ended up in hospital due to flu in Eastbourne, Hailsham, and Seaford last year.

The local NHS is urging people to have the flu jab which could prevent vulnerable people ending up in hospital, or even dying this winter.

Daughter defies odds after miracle first day back at Eastbourne school

This comes as around one in four of those eligible in the area did not claim their free jab.

The influx of people needing medical care due to flu caused extra strain on hospitals in 2018 and cost the NHS more than £180,600.

Local doctors believe this could have been avoided had those eligible taken up the opportunity to get their free jab.

Allison Cannon, chief nurse officer for East Surrey and Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups, said, “Flu is potentially a very serious illness, and the flu vaccine is the single best way to protect yourself and help ease pressures on your local NHS.”

“This year, residents should be vaccinated as they will be better protected from flu than ever before. We hope this improved vaccine will help ease pressures on local health services by leading to fewer avoidable GP appointments, fewer people needing hospital care and fewer deaths from flu.”

’Universally loved’ Eastbourne man’s legacy will be protected

Those who could get seriously ill if they get flu and risk avoidable hospital admission can claim a free flu jab, including:

• All children aged two to 10 (but not 11 years or older) on August 31 2019. This covers nurseries, reception through school years 1-6.

• Those aged six months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups

• Pregnant women

• Those aged 65 years and over

• Those in long-stay residential care homes

• Carers

• Close contacts of “immunocompromised” individuals

People identified at risk of complications can receive the flu vaccine through their GP, and from their local high street pharmacist.

The childhood vaccination programme uses a flu nasal spray, protecting children and anyone they come into contact with.