Andrew Murrison has urged all those people in South West Wiltshire who are eligible for the flu jab to get one this winter, as the Government launches its drive to vaccine 30 million people.
The drive comes as new research from Public Health England suggests that people infected with both flu and SARS-CoV-2 do considerably worse than someone with the new coronavirus alone.
Gill May, Director of Nursing and Quality for the local Clinical Commissioning Group has written to Andrew highlighting this year’s flu vaccination programme which is being expanded to help protect people from flu and ease pressure on the NHS and urgent care services. The health system is working to provide the free flu vaccine to 30 million people, the highest number on record, including:
- All primary school children, and, for the first time, Year 7 children.
- Two- and three-olds.
- The most vulnerable people, including adults aged 65 and over, those with long-term health conditions and pregnant women.
- Household contact of people on the NHS Shielded Patient List and all health and social care workers who have direct contact with the people they care for.
- Adults aged 50-64 soon. Once uptake has been maximised in the most at-risk groups, the newly eligible 50-64-year olds will be invited for vaccination in the coming weeks.
Outlets offering vaccination include GPs, pharmacies, and supermarkets. It is important to note that availability may vary between locations – and where this is the case, the most vulnerable groups will be prioritised.
Commenting, Andrew Murrison said:
“As we approach the winter, it’s important that everyone who needs a flu vaccination takes up the offer to have one.”
“In this way we can ensure flu is minimised and, of course, continue with anti-coronavirus measures including Hands, Face, Space.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said:
“This year more than ever, it’s vital that those eligible for the flu jab get it this winter so you can protect yourself, your family and the NHS. We’re pulling out all the stops to prepare for this uniquely challenging winter and we have enough vaccines for 30 million people this year, more than we’ve ever done before.”