A Newark grandfather and newly appointed Vice Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council (NCC) who fought off the flu when he was younger has urged people everyone to get their jab and protect the young and elderly in Newark.
Stuart Wallace, aged 73, has had the jab every year for the past eight years. As a former chair of the adult and social care committee at Nottinghamshire County Council (NCC) he understands all too well how devastating it can be.
Mr Wallace, who has represented the people of Newark East at NCC since 2009 said: “Let’s not forget that flu can be fatal or at the least debilitating. In 1918 around 50 million people around the world died from the Spanish Flu.
“I got flu when I was in my 30s and fit and healthy and it flattened me for two weeks. I’ve never felt so ill. It makes me think now how it would feel for older and vulnerable people who are already unwell if they got it. And it can be easily avoided by getting the vaccine.
It’s takes a second to get the jab and prevent a serious illness.”
The strain of flu alters every winter which is why people are urged to get vaccinated every year.
Councillor Wallace, who has lived in Newark for 18 years before moving to Farndon in 2019 said: “For those people who are exceptionally vulnerable like the elderly or very young, I would encourage everyone to get the vaccine, either as a nasal spray for children or injection for adults.
“I also want all my staff who have face to face contact with the elderly or vulnerable to get the vaccination so that they won’t pass it on to them.”
NCC is providing free flu jabs for frontline workers such as social care staff. This helps protect the most vulnerable people from contracting flu-like illnesses following contact with its staff.
A series of flu clinics are being held at NCC office bases around the county or eligible staff can order a voucher to exchange for a free vaccination at a time more convenient to them.
This is one of the ways NHS and council partners are working together across the Mid-Nottinghamshire Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) this year to focus on vaccinating as many people as possible with the flu jab.
Dr Thilan Bartholomeuz, Clinical Chair of Newark & Sherwood CCG and GP at Abbey Medical Group in Blidworth & Ravenshead said: “Australia, which often predicts the UK winter season, has had a bad flu season. We also know that those with respiratory conditions like emphysema and asthma are a major cause for emergency admissions to hospitals in winter. This is why all GPs across Mansfield, Ashfield, Newark and Sherwood are working together to make protecting our populations against flu our priority this winter.”
People should contact their GP if they qualify for a free flu jab. Even if they are not eligible for a free vaccination they can still book a flu jab at some local chemists or supermarkets for a small charge.
If you have any queries about this please contact Kerry Beadling-Barron, Director of Communications and Engagement at Mid-Nottinghamshire ICP on Kerry.firstname.lastname@example.org