Protect yourself against flu and do your bit for the NHS - says Wales Health Minister Mark Drakeford
WELSH Health Minister Mark Drakeford was in Swansea this week urging people to do their bit to help the NHS this winter.
He visited the Boots pharmacy in Swansea Morfa Retail Park to launch the new winter wellness campaign and to urge people to have a ‘flu jab.
He said: “Last winter was very long and hard and began with a sudden drop in temperature.
“There is nothing to say we won’t face the same this year so we need to do as much as we can to help the health service.
“In common with other countries, more people die in Wales in winter than in the summer, and people over the age of 65 account for four in every five excess winter deaths.
“Older people are likely to make frequent visits to their local pharmacies, making them ideal places to offer practical advice and information on the best ways to stay warm and well during the colder months.”
Winter Wellness checks are being carried out in all 714 community pharmacies across Wales.
All GPs surgeries and many community pharmacies are also carrying out NHS flu jabs to eligible groups.
Mr Drakeford said: “We know the winter ahead is going to be hard.
“It is very important for anyone who works in health and social care to get a flu jab so they are fit to work during the busiest time.
“This campaign is great and we know it is a successful way to help keep communities healthy this winter.”
Mari Pitson, from Age Cymru Swansea, said it was the first time they had been in major partner in a public health campaign.
She said: “It is so important for people aged over 65 to get their flu jabs to protect them this winter.
“This is why this campaign is brilliant, as it is providing flue jabs in your local pharmacy.”
Professor Andrew Davies, chair of Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, said: “This is a very important campaign as we need to cut down the flu rates this winter when the health service is under increased pressure.
“To help as many people as possible should get vaccinated.”