Kidney disease covers a range of conditions and those with more severe stages, such as nephrotic syndrome or a kidney transplant, are eligible for a flu vaccination. If you think you have an undiagnosed medical condition affecting your kidneys, you should talk to your GP or practice nurse to find out if you need a flu vaccination.
The flu vaccination is available from your GP practice and you will need to make an appointment so be sure to call ahead.
Dr Christopher Browning, a GP in Long Melford and chairman of NHS West Suffolk CCG explains: “If you suffer from kidney disease, you are more susceptible to flu and infections such as pneumonia. This is because your immune system is less effective. The best protection we have against the flu is the vaccination.
“Many people think that the flu is like a bad cold, however it is a respiratory virus which can make you very unwell. Having kidney disease puts you at high risk of infection, which is the second most common cause of death in kidney disease patients. You can dramatically reduce this risk by having the flu vaccination."
Dr Mark Shenton, a GP in Stowmarket and chairman of NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG says: “My advice for anyone who has kidney disease, or any underlying health condition, is to get your flu vaccination now as it takes up to two weeks to take effect. By getting a flu vaccination you can help protect your health and avoid being admitted to your local hospital.
“The flu vaccination is most effective when administered every year. Flu strains can change and the vaccination is adjusted accordingly, meaning that last year’s vaccination may not be effective with this year’s flu. Please support your local hospital and the NHS this winter by getting flu protected.”
Flu vaccinations are offered free of charge to the following ‘at-risk’ groups:
For more information visit www.nhs.uk/staywell
Issued by The Communications Team on 01473 770014
NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group – www.ipswichandeastsuffolkccg.nhs.uk
NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group – www.westsuffolkccg.nhs.uk