Monday, December 5, 2022
Hywel Dda UHB encourages vaccination as flu expected to be a major public health issue in Wales this winter

Hywel Dda UHB encourages vaccination as flu expected to be a major public health issue in Wales this winter

Public Health experts are expecting a significant flu season this winter for the first time since the pandemic. There are concerns that it may start earlier this year and affect more people. As a result, Hywel Dda University Health Board is now urging anyone who is eligible for a free flu vaccine to take up the offer, in order to protect themselves and others from serious illness this winter.

In addition, the Covid-19 autumn booster programme is now live and many people including everyone over 50 years old, and those at risk of severe disease are among those being offered a Covid-19 booster to reduce their chances of getting seriously ill with Covid-19.

If you are eligible for an autumn COVID-19 booster, please wait to be invited by either your GP or the health board. Everyone eligible will be offered an appointment by November.

GP practices are also preparing to invite eligible patients for their seasonal flu vaccine and aim to offer an appointment to everyone eligible by December. Again, please do not contact your GP practice at this time, you will be invited when it is your turn.

Cases of flu (also known as influenza) are already being detected in Wales. Public health scientists say that the flu season could be as severe as the 2017/18 flu outbreak, where 16.5 thousand people in Wales were diagnosed with flu by their GP, and 2,500 people were hospitalised. There was also a high level of seasonal excess deaths that year – the worst for around 20 years.

Since March 2020, the Covid-19 lockdowns and international travel restrictions have disrupted the amount of respiratory viruses in circulation, but as our lives are going back to normal, viruses are returning in higher numbers. This year, Australia experienced a flu season which was earlier than usual and saw the highest case levels in five years. It is possible that the UK – and Wales – will experience similar flu activity.

With Covid-19 also in circulation, and added winter pressures on the NHS, it is more important than ever that those who are eligible for a free flu or Covid-19 vaccine get vaccinated to help prevent them becoming seriously unwell and protect the NHS this winter.

Dr Joanne McCarthy, Deputy Director of Public Health at Hywel Dda UHB, said: “Flu is caused by the influenza virus. It can be a very unpleasant illness and also lead to serious problems, such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

“The pandemic has made us much more aware that vaccination saves lives and reduces hospitalisations. Vaccination may not stop you from catching flu or COVID-19, but it makes it far less likely that you will be severely ill or need hospitalisation.”

Eluned Morgan, Minister for Health and Social Services, said: “We are encouraging everyone to get both their jabs this winter, when flu and COVID will be at their peak, to protect themselves, those around them and the NHS during what will be a busy time for healthcare in Wales.”

To promote the vaccinations, Public Health Wales has launched a campaign encouraging those eligible to ‘power up’ their protection against serious illness this winter by getting the flu and Covid-19 vaccines. The campaign launches on 27 September with digital and social content as well as stakeholder outreach and radio adverts.

Vaccination is particularly important for those who are older, pregnant, or have a health condition and are more vulnerable to complications as a result of the infections. It is also very important that frontline healthcare workers and those who work in care homes or providing care in peoples own homes get their vaccines to help reduce spread.

To help stop flu and other viruses spreading, remember to ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it.’

For more information about how to get the vaccines, please visit https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/immunisation-and-vaccines/flu-vaccine-and-covid-19-autumn-booster/.

Mae Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Hywel Dda yn annog brechu oherwydd disgwylir i’r ffliw fod yn broblem fawr i iechyd cyhoeddus yng Nghymru y gaeaf hwn

Hywel Dda UHB encourages vaccination as flu expected to be a major public health issue in Wales this winter | Mae Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Hywel Dda yn annog brechu oherwydd disgwylir i’r ffliw fod yn broblem fawr i iechyd cyhoeddus yng Nghymru y gaeaf hwn

Mae arbenigwyr Iechyd Cyhoeddus yn disgwyl tymor ffliw sylweddol y gaeaf hwn am y tro cyntaf ers y pandemig. Mae pryderon y gallai ddechrau yn gynharach eleni ac effeithio ar fwy o bobl. O ganlyniad, mae Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Hywel Dda bellach yn annog unrhyw un sy’n gymwys i gael brechlyn ffliw am ddim i fanteisio ar y cynnig, er mwyn amddiffyn eu hunain ac eraill rhag salwch difrifol y gaeaf hwn.

Yn ogystal, mae rhaglen atgyfnerthu’r hydref Covid-19 bellach yn fyw ac mae llawer o bobl gan gynnwys pawb dros 50 oed, a’r rhai sydd mewn perygl o glefyd difrifol ymhlith y rhai sy’n cael cynnig pigiad atgyfnerthu Covid-19 i leihau eu siawns o fynd yn ddifrifol wael gyda Covid-19.

Os ydych chi’n gymwys ar gyfer pigiad atgyfnerthu’r hydref COVID-19, arhoswch i gael gwahoddiad naill ai gan eich meddyg teulu neu’r bwrdd iechyd. Bydd pawb sy’n gymwys yn cael cynnig apwyntiad erbyn mis Tachwedd.

Mae practisau meddygon teulu hefyd yn paratoi i wahodd cleifion cymwys ar gyfer eu brechlyn ffliw tymhorol a’u nod yw cynnig apwyntiad i bawb sy’n gymwys erbyn mis Rhagfyr. Eto, peidiwch â chysylltu â’ch practis meddyg teulu ar hyn o bryd, byddwch yn cael eich gwahodd pan ddaw eich tro.

Mae achosion o ffliw eisoes yn cael eu canfod yng Nghymru. Mae gwyddonwyr iechyd cyhoeddus yn dweud y gallai tymor y ffliw fod mor ddifrifol â’r achosion o ffliw yn 2017/18, lle cafodd 16.5 mil o bobl yng Nghymru ddiagnosis o’r ffliw gan eu meddyg teulu, a 2,500 o bobl yn yr ysbyty. Roedd yna hefyd lefel uchel o farwolaethau gormodol tymhorol y flwyddyn honno – y gwaethaf ers tua 20 mlynedd.

Ers mis Mawrth 2020, mae cyfyngiadau symud Covid-19 a chyfyngiadau teithio rhyngwladol wedi amharu ar faint o firysau anadlol sydd mewn cylchrediad, ond wrth i’n bywydau fynd yn ôl i normal, mae niferoedd uwch o feirysau’n dychwelyd. Eleni, profodd Awstralia dymor ffliw a oedd yn gynharach nag arfer a gwelwyd y lefelau achosion uchaf mewn pum mlynedd. Mae’n bosibl y bydd y DU – a Chymru – yn profi gweithgarwch ffliw tebyg.

Gyda Covid-19 hefyd mewn cylchrediad, a phwysau ychwanegol y gaeaf ar y GIG, mae’n bwysicach nag erioed bod y rhai sy’n gymwys i gael brechlyn ffliw neu Covid-19 am ddim yn cael eu brechu i helpu i’w hatal rhag mynd yn ddifrifol wael a diogelu’r GIG y gaeaf hwn.

Dywedodd Dr Joanne McCarthy, Dirprwy Gyfarwyddwr Iechyd Cyhoeddus Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Hywel Dda: “Firws y ffliw sy’n achosi’r ffliw. Gall fod yn salwch annymunol iawn a hefyd arwain at broblemau difrifol, fel broncitis a niwmonia.

“Mae’r pandemig wedi ein gwneud ni’n llawer mwy ymwybodol bod brechu yn achub bywydau ac yn lleihau derbyniadau i’r ysbyty. Efallai na fydd brechu yn eich atal rhag dal y ffliw neu COVID-19, ond mae’n ei gwneud yn llawer llai tebygol y byddwch yn ddifrifol wael neu angen mynd i’r ysbyty.”

Dywedodd Eluned Morgan, y Gweinidog dros Iechyd a Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol: “Rydym yn annog pawb i gael eu brechiad y gaeaf hwn, pan fydd ffliw a COVID ar eu hanterth, er mwyn amddiffyn eu hunain, y rhai o’u cwmpas a’r GIG yn ystod yr hyn a fydd yn amser prysur i ofal iechyd yng Nghymru.”

I hyrwyddo’r brechiadau, mae Iechyd Cyhoeddus Cymru wedi lansio ymgyrch sy’n annog y rhai sy’n gymwys i ‘ailwefru’ eich amddiffyniad yn erbyn salwch difrifol y gaeaf hwn drwy gael y brechlynnau ffliw a Covid-19. Mae’r ymgyrch yn lansio ar 27 Medi gyda chynnwys digidol a chymdeithasol yn ogystal ag estyn allan i randdeiliaid a hysbysebion radio.

Mae brechu yn arbennig o bwysig i’r rhai sy’n hŷn, yn feichiog, neu sydd â chyflwr iechyd ac sy’n fwy agored i gymhlethdodau o ganlyniad i’r heintiau. Mae hefyd yn bwysig iawn bod gweithwyr gofal iechyd rheng flaen a’r rhai sy’n gweithio mewn cartrefi gofal neu’n darparu gofal yng nghartrefi pobl eu hunain yn cael eu brechlynnau i helpu i leihau lledaeniad.

Er mwyn helpu i atal y ffliw a firysau eraill rhag lledu, cofiwch ‘Ei Ddal, Ei Daflu, Ei Ddifa’

I gael rhagor o wybodaeth am sut i gael y brechlynnau, ewch i https://icc.gig.cymru/pynciau/imiwneiddio-a-brechlynnau/brechlyn-ffliw-a-phigiad-atgyfnerthur-hydref-covid-19/

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