Sunday, July 18, 2021

Making sure the COVID pandemic isn't followed by a flu epidemic

One of the few positive things about the COVID-19 pandemic is that the action taken to protect against the coronavirus has also almost entirely prevented the usual waves of deaths from Flu.

What we don't want, however is to allow this to mean that immunity from flu declines and we get a worst than usual wave of flu deaths this winter.

So yesterday the government announced the biggest seasonal flu programme in British history which will aim to vaccinate 35 million people from September.

  • As a result of COVID-19 restrictions that were in place, flu levels were significantly lower than expected last winter, increasing the likelihood of higher flu levels this year.

  • So we need to build on last years expanded flu vaccine programme, under which four in five people 65 and over in England received a jab.

  • For the first time all school pupils up to Year 11 will be offered a jab, along with all children aged two and three from the end of August, clinical risk groups including pregnant women, the over 50s, unpaid carers, frontline health and social care staff, and close contact of immunocompromised people.

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