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Winter Wellbeing 2023/24

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Monday 09 October 2023

While it may seem odd to be discussing winter wellbeing when October has started with beautiful weather, it is really important that Islanders consider ways they can help themselves to stay well this winter.

As the days get shorter, and winter approaches, it is important that eligible islanders get their seasonal flu and COVID-19 vaccinations if they are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill from these diseases. We started to invite those who are eligible at the start of September and individuals will continue to be invited for their COVID-19 and /or flu vaccinations over the coming weeks.  Getting a vaccination for yourself or your child, if you fall into an eligible group, can help other people, such as vulnerable relatives, as well as helping you.

The Director of Public Health, Dr Nicola Brink said:

'We are sending out a variety of invitation letters to eligible islanders. Vaccination is important because, whilst these infections are unpleasant for most people, they can be dangerous and even life threatening for some people, particularly those with certain health conditions.

Children are also being offered the nasal flu vaccine (which does not involve an injection). This includes children aged 2 to 3 years (these are being offered in some pre-school settings by a specialist vaccination team and in all GP practices), and children and young people from Reception to Year 11 (who will be offered vaccination in their school, by the School Nurses.)

Anyone who is pregnant is at increased risk of a poor outcome if they contract influenza or COVID-19 and are part of the clinical risk cohort so they will also be offered vaccination. These individuals will be given the opportunity to attend for vaccination by Maternity Services as part of specialist clinics.'

Despite the pleasant weather, there are various respiratory viruses circulating the in the island at the moment. Dr Klein, Emergency Department Consultant said:

'There are many patients heading to ED with 'flu-like' symptoms at the moment. This is putting pressure on the service which will continue as we move into winter. We would like to remind people that although flu-like illnesses can make you feel very unwell, there are often things you can do at home to treat the symptoms:

If you are requiring urgent care, please do not hesitate to attend the department.'

Islanders are reminded that they can speak to a pharmacist or their GP if they are struggling to manage their symptoms but do not need Emergency Department assistance.

Covid vaccine is here: https://gov.gg/article/197656/COVID-19-Autumn-Booster-Programme

Flu vaccine is as above plus 2-3 years olds and children and young people in reception year to year 11 inclusive.

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