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[27 OCT 00] CWN COMMENT
It Only Takes A Little Prick

If you are, or you know, a pensioner who hasnít had a flu jab yet, PLEASE make sure they have one.

Year after year the over-stretched NHS is brought to its knees by scores of people going to hospital with flu.

Many of them merely have a bad cold Ė a lot of people donít really know what flu is. But those with it who are sick and vulnerable often have to be taken in.

There isnít a lot that can be done for them in hospital, and valuable bed space is taken up, while staff are exposed to infection. Sometimes other admissions have to be turned away as casualty wards fill up.

Elderly people are most at risk from flu. The illness can cause other problems, and it can be a killer.

Thatís why it is important to do something about it now. Coventry Health Authority is trying campaign after campaign to get pensioners to have their jab, but the message isnít getting through.

Last year the most successful of a widely-publicised programme of events was giving pensioners in Canley and Tile Hill a free meal before their jab.

It helped break down the barriers of communication often exist with the elderly. Pensioners living alone were encouraged to come out and see some other people. They were offered face-to-face advice and reassurance about the jab.

For those involved with the idea, it was warming to see some element of community spirit restored, even if it was only for an afternoon. But crucially, most of the people went had the vital jab.

The idea is spreading to other parts of the city this year. But if you know someone who has missed out, please encourage them to go their GP before winter sets in.

It could save lives Ė and not just their own.

SEE: [27 OCT 00]  FOOD FOR FLU AS PENSIONERS COAXED OUT
 

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CWN / Comment / 27 Oct 00
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