Salford youngsters take the fight against flu to older people

Wednesday 12 October 2016

KIDS in Salford are taking the fight against flu to their own families as this year’s round of flu season vaccinations begin across the city.

In a bid to box-off any potential battles with flu, NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has compiled a cast of local children to star in a short film reminding loved ones aged 65 or over to get their free flu jab at their GP’s surgery.

The film, Stay Well This Winter – Fighting the Flu for Salford, was launched yesterday (27 September) by Salford CCG and its partners at the Making Salford an ‘age-friendly’ city event at Buile Hill Park.

As well as forming part of the NHS’ Stay Well This Winter drive, the move also complements the ‘Age Well’ element of Salford's Locality Plan.

Dr Tom Tasker, Chair of Salford CCG, said: “Inevitably, the winter season can bring problems for those aged 65 or older so it is really vital that they take advantage of the free flu jab they are entitled to.

“Unfortunately, our research figures show that there is still a significant proportion of Salford’s population– some one in four of those 65 and older – who are still not getting the flu vaccination.

“Following engagement with people 65 or older, we’ve established that, as with many people, the thing most important thing to them is their family.

“That got us thinking about the importance of these relationships and how they might suffer if flu got in the way. And let’s not fool ourselves here – flu is not just a ‘bad cold’; it’s a nasty illness that can put you out of action for many weeks.

“I think the words of the youngsters in this film really hit home. Those people 65 and older who don’t get the flu jab are potentially putting themselves at risk of missing out on spending quality time with their family.

“In the film, we hope that by using these budding stars and this ‘pester power’ method, grandads and grandmas can see just how much they matter to young children.

“The message is clear – you are loved and children depend on you. So, can they depend on you to get the jab?”

The short film is just one of the many creative methods that Salford’s health and social care partners – including Salford City Council, Salford Royal and City West Housing Trust – will be employing over the coming months to encourage those eligible for the free flu jab to make sure they get it.

Flu jabs are now available for Salford residents who need them at GP practices throughout the city.

Thousands of letters to people with existing health conditions, ranging from asthma to heart or chest problems, have been sent out inviting people for their annual flu vaccination.

Carers, pregnant women and children aged two to seven (and are vaccinated by a painless nasal spray) are also offered free immunisation.

The top-of-the-bill flu-fighting film stars in full are Jack Connor, 4, from Clifton, Poppy Monks, seven, from Eccles, Isla Farnworth, six, from Swinton, and Dylan and Ruby Rafferty, aged eight and five respectively, from Swinton.

Watch the Stay Well This Winter film here.