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Free vaccine for those most ‘at risk’ of flu THE ANNUAL flu immunisation

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Influenza_Header 2(2)THE ANNUAL flu immunisation programme in Wales is now underway in time for the coming flu season. Health and Social Services Minister, Mark Drakeford AM, has lead the way by pledging to beat flu and endorsing the free vaccine for those most ‘at risk’ of flu and its complications. The annual programme aims to ensure that the people who need it most get free protection each year against flu. This includes everyone aged 65 and over, people with certain long term health conditions and pregnant women. Carers, volunteers providing care or providing first aid in organised public events, as well as Community First Responders, are also entitled to the vaccine, which is delivered to adults as a small injection in the arm. The flu vaccine for children, aged 2 years and over, is a nasal spray.

After the success of last year’s first phase of the introduction of routine flu vaccine for children, the nasal spray flu vaccine for children is this year also being rolled out to all four year olds, as well as those aged two or three years old, and school year 7 pupils. The younger children will have the spray in their GP practice and Year 7 pupils will receive their nasal spray vaccine in school. Professor Drakeford warns people they must also pledge to beat flu and have the vaccine for free if they are eligible, to protect themselves and those they care for: “Flu can be life threatening to people who are particularly at risk, and it continues to kill people every year. People can also pledge to beat flu by reminding eligible relatives and friends to get their flu vaccine this autumn.

“We run this programme to make sure this doesn’t happen unnecessarily, when flu can be prevented quickly and simply.” Last year, more than two thirds (68.3%) of people aged 65 or over had their vaccination but only half (51.1%) of people in ‘at risk’ groups under the age of 65 got protected. Dr Richard Roberts, Head of the Vaccine Preventable Disease Programme in Public Health Wales, added: “The giant flu bugs (pictured with the Minister) will be travelling around Wales this autumn and winter trying to give you flu – so make sure you get protected early!

“Each year the flu bugs circulating and causing people to be ill change, so even if you had the vaccine last year you must have it again now – because the old one will no longer protect you. Flu can’t usually be treated but it can be largely prevented through one simple vaccination, so make sure you beat flu before it beats you!” Each year the flu vaccine is changed to match any new circulating strains of the flu virus.

Most NHS flu vaccines are given in GP surgeries, but the vaccine is also available in some community pharmacies. Influenza is a respiratory illness caused by a virus that affects the lungs and airways. Symptoms generally come on suddenly, and can include fever, chills, headache, cough, body aches and fatigue. The flu virus is spread via droplets which are sprayed into the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Direct contact with contaminated hands or surfaces can also spread infection. It can spread rapidly, especially in closed communities such as hospitals, residential homes and schools. Readers can find out more about how to get their free vaccine by visiting www. beatflu.org.uk orwww.curwchffliw.org. uk, or finding Beat Flu or Curwch Ffliw on twitter and facebook.

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Broad Haven: Car overturns in wet weather on B4341

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A CAR overturned in the wet weather on the B4341 Haverfordwest to Broad Haven road on Friday evening (Jul 3).

First on the scene, local Stephen Hughes told The Herald: “I was driving along and noticed a car had overturned on the Broad Haven Road past the left turning for Tiers Cross. I stopped and checked to see if everyone as okay.

“No one was injured, and I stayed until the police arrived.”

Police directed traffic and assisted with the recovery of the vehicle.

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County Hall in NHS blue lights tribute

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COUNTY HALL in Haverfordwest was lit in blue last night (Friday, 3rd July) and will be again tonight and tomorrow night as a tribute to NHS workers and social care staff throughout the country.

The illumination also marks the 72nd anniversary of the NHS on Sunday.

Said Pembrokeshire County Council Chairman, Dr Simon Hancock: “We owe these workers a great debt which will never be fully repaid and this gesture by the Council is richly deserved.”

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Cllr Beynon suspended as school governor at Pembroke’s Ysgol Harri Tudur

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL said that they are unable to comment on the suspension of a Pembroke Dock councillor as a school governor.

Cllr Beynon confirmed that he has been suspended as a school governor at Pembroke’s Ysgol Harri Tudur.

“I’m looking forward until when the ombudsman throws out the complaints,” Cllr Beynon said.

Paul Dowson, a fellow Pembroke Dock councillor, recently resigned from the board of school governors of Ysgol Harri Tudur.

Cllr Dowson said after he resigned: “I feel a recent smear campaign reflects badly on the school even though its untrue.”

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