Friday, November 20, 2020

Extending free flu vaccinations

The last thing we need this winter is for the usual winter flu outbreak to hit the NHS at the same time as we are dealing with wave two of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It probably won't happen because the measures being taken to protect people against COVID-19 are even more effective against influenza - the number of deaths from flu is massively down so far this year.

But it would be reckless to the point of utter stupidity to take that "probably" for granted - if we as a nation took our eye off the ball on flu that would be asking for the nightmare scenario of a simultaneous double hit from flu and coronavirus.

That's why the Health Secretary confirmed today that from 1 December adults aged 50 to 64 will be entitled to a free flu vaccination, as the NHS expands the largest ever flu vaccination programme this winter. The government stated that:

  • "As we face the twin threats of flu and Covid-19 in a winter like no other, getting a flu jab is more important than ever this year.
  • That is why the government is extending the offer of a free flu vaccine to those aged 50 to 64, which they can access from their GP or pharmacy, as part of the most comprehensive flu vaccination in our nation’s history this winter, which has seen flu vaccine uptake higher in almost all vulnerable groups compared to this time last year. 
  • We are committed to protecting as many people as possible for what will be a challenging winter, by keeping those at risk safe and reducing strain on our NHS in our continued efforts to tackle coronavirus." 


No comments: