Community fundraiser Tracy raises vital funds and helps flu awareness


A community fundraiser who has rheumatoid arthritis has been actively supporting the Beat Flu campaign, encouraging those with long-term health conditions to get their free influenza (flu) vaccine.
Tracy Beynon, from East Williamston near Tenby, has been having the flu vaccine since she was diagnosed with her condition nine years ago.
Tracy, who works in the NHS said: “I run lots of charity events to raise money for Arthritis Research UK so I don’t want flu to stop me in my tracks this winter.
“My symptoms are very similar to having flu and every day can be a struggle, so if I was to catch flu it could have a serious effect on my body.
“The main treatment for my condition is immunosuppressant medication which lowers my immune system and makes me very susceptible to viruses. When people with my condition do catch bugs they don’t have the immunity to fight them, which can lead to illness spreading quickly, and in extreme cases have devastating consequences.
“I understand that some people may think that the jab causes flu but it’s not a live vaccine so it can’t possibly do that; I just had a sore arm for a couple of days where I had my injection but no other complaints.
“I hope to keep flu at bay this winter and continue my fundraising goal of raising £4,000 for my charity by the time I turn 40 next February.”
The flu vaccine is free to those in an at risk group including:
  • People of any age with long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes and degenerative disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, or heart or liver conditions;
  • Pregnant women;
  • Those aged 65 or over;
  • Children aged between two and seven.
Unpaid carers and NHS staff also qualify for a free vaccine to protect those they care for. Carers are encouraged to speak to their GP or pharmacist about the vaccine and NHS staff should contact their local occupational health department for more details.
Director of Public Health for Hywel Dda University Health Board, Teresa Owen, is encouraging all those who are eligible to have the flu jab: “We’re actively supporting the Beat Flu campaign to protect our local communities across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.
“It is very important to have the vaccine, so contact your GP or pharmacist if you are aged 65 years or older, you are pregnant, or you have a health condition that puts you at risk of complications from influenza such as diabetes, heart disease or chronic respiratory disease.”
Last year, more than 75,000 people across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire had their flu jab.

To arrange your free vaccine or to find out if you are eligible contact your GP surgery as soon as possible. Flu vaccines are also available in some community pharmacies.

Find out more by visiting www.beatflu.org or searching for Beat Flu on Twitter and Facebook.

Photo: Tracy preparing for a local craft fair.

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