NHS Sussex urges those with long term conditions to get life-saving protection ahead of festive period

The NHS in Sussex are urging those with long term conditions who have not yet come forward for the flu and COVID-19 vaccines to get vital protection ahead of the festive and new year season when flu and COVID-19 are expected to peak.
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Thousands of people who are at risk and more likely to become seriously ill are yet to come forward for vital winter vaccinations and may not be aware they have a condition that makes them eligible.

While there has been significant uptake of both the flu and covid vaccine thousands of people who are at increased risk of serious illness and hospitalisation from COVID-19 or the flu are yet to receive vital protection.

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Flu can be serious for anyone with a long-term health condition as they are more likely to develop complications, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, which could result in their hospitalisation and even death.


So far 80,567 people with long term conditions across Sussex have had their flu vaccinations, with 123,797 people yet to come forward. With Christmas fast approaching, clinicians are asking those with eligible and especially those with long term conditions to act now ahead of the festive period.

Carers and household contacts of anyone with a weakened immune system are also being encouraged to get their winter vaccinations in addition to everyone over 50 and health and social care workers.

People are able to declare their eligibility online via the National Booking Service or use a previous invite to get their vaccine as long as it has been 91 days since their last.

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COVID-19 and Flu is a particular threat to people with long-term conditions that include:

· respiratory conditions, such as asthma (needing steroid inhaler or tablets), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and bronchitis

· heart conditions, such as coronary heart disease or heart failure

· being very overweight – a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above

· liver disease, such as hepatitis

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· neurological conditions, such as Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), or cerebral palsy

· problems with your spleen, for example, sickle cell disease, or if you have had your spleen removed

· a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or taking medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy

Please note that the National Booking System will close for COVID and flu bookings on 15 December. This won’t be the last chance for people to get a vaccine but the last chance for people to use the National Booking System to arrange an appointment.

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A spokesperson for NHS Sussex said: “We are urging those with long term conditions to take up this vital offer.

“Some of these people may not even be aware that they or a loved one meet the criteria to receive winter vaccinations due to an existing condition they have.

“For those with long term conditions flu or COVID-19 can be very dangerous and even life-threatening.

“We are urging everyone to check whether they or someone they know meets the criteria – and to go on to the National Booking Service and self-declare if they are yet to do so – it could be the best gift you give a loved one this Christmas”.