Santa took a break from grotto duties this week to get his free flu jab, and make double sure he’s on top-form for the festive season.

The man in red used his tea break from Manchester Arndale to get himself protected from the virus, which spreads fast at this time of year.

”As with all over 65s, Santa is eligible for a free flu vaccination, available from pharmacies or GP surgeries. People with long-term health conditions, people with a BMI of 40+ and pregnant women are also eligible. Children up to school year five can also have theirs free at a GP surgery or through school.

Santa said: “With all of the world’s children relying on me, I couldn’t take the risk of getting flu at my busiest time of year. I’ve got grotto duties, supervising the elves and then I’ve got a fair bit to do when I leave Manchester Arndale on Christmas Eve!

“There’s no way I was going to risk getting flu and letting everyone down, so I popped across to Dan the pharmacist in Boots in Market Street, and he sorted my jab.

“I brought a couple of elves along with me for support, but as it happens I barely felt a thing. I was back making wishes come true within a few minutes, safe in the knowledge that I won’t be coming down with a nasty flu in the next couple of weeks.”

He added: “I was really happy to hear that lots of people in Greater Manchester are eligible for a free flu vaccination, not just older people such as myself. And I didn’t know that kids get the vaccination from a nasal spray rather than an injection.”

Daniel Pinder, Pharmacist at Boots, Market Street, Manchester, said: “Getting flu is ‘snow’ joke, especially at this time of year when people are busy and have plans with the family, it’s so much worse than a bad cold. Getting it would absolutely ruin anyone’s Christmas and for certain people catching it can be really, really serious.

“So when the big man said he wanted to come over from his grotto and get his flu vaccination done we were pleased to have him here. He’s a very important guy, people rely on him and we were glad to have done our bit to ensure everyone has a Christmas cracker.”

Find out more about the flu vaccination at nhs.uk/fluvaccine

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