HEALTH officials are encouraging eligible patients in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire to get the flu vaccine.

Doctors, pharmacists and NHS staff across Hywel Dda health board have been preparing for this year's flu vaccination programme, ensuring it is available for those who need it the most.

A statement from the health board is urging those eligible to keep Wales safe by getting the flu vaccine.

GPs are in the process of inviting people to receive their flu vaccine so it is important that the contact details the surgery holds are up to date.

Children in primary school usually receive their flu vaccination from the Hywel Dda School Nursing Team. Further information about this year’s school vaccination programme will be shared at the earliest opportunity.

Ros Jervis, Director of Public Health at Hywel Dda UHB, said: “This year’s flu vaccination is more important than ever if we are to protect our health and the health of those around us this winter.

“The safety of those receiving and delivering the vaccinations this year is paramount, and I am incredibly proud of the preparations made by so many health staff across mid and west Wales to ensure all appropriate safety measures are in place.

“People who are at high risk of Covid-19 are also those most at risk from the flu virus. If you are invited to receive your flu vaccination, please make every effort to attend your appointment and help us keep you and Wales safe this winter.”

If you are not eligible for a free NHS flu vaccination, you can still protect yourself with a private flu vaccine from your local pharmacist for a small fee. You can find your nearest pharmacy here

You can have a free NHS flu vaccine if you:

• are a child aged two and three (age on 31 August 2020)

• are a child in primary school

• are pregnant

• are aged 65 and over

• are aged over 6 months with a long term health condition

• have a learning disability

• have a BMI of 40 or above

• are a front-line healthcare worker

• work in a care home with regular client contact

• provide domiciliary care in client’s homes

• are a paid or unpaid carer