As part of the expanded flu vaccination programme this winter, people aged 50-64 will be able to get the flu vaccination free, which is designed to help reduce the risk of catching flu, as well as spreading it to others, and health experts at the CCG say it is worth bearing in mind that it is more effective to get the vaccine now before the start of the flu season (December to March).
“Having initially focused on the other eligible groups of people, we are really pleased to now be in a position to roll out the flu vaccination to 50-64-year olds,” comments Rebecca Neno, Deputy Chief Nurse, NHS Lincolnshire CCG. “Flu can cause severe illness and even death amongst vulnerable groups, as well as complications like bronchitis and pneumonia, so it’s important to book in for the flu vaccination.”
They have previously focused on getting other vulnerable groups vaccinated, including people aged 65 or over, pregnant women, people with certain medical conditions, those living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay facility, people in receipt of a carer’s allowance/those who are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person, and people living with someone at risk of coronavirus. Health leaders say getting a flu vaccination is even more important this year given the Covid-19 pandemic.
“If you are 50-64 or in one of the groups we previously focused on, haven’t had your flu vaccination and after December 1 haven’t heard from your GP practice, please contact it by telephone to make an appointment,” adds Rebecca. “Bear in mind that all GP practices are open, but it is important that, if you haven’t already heard from them, you phone first rather than just turn up without an appointment. Similarly, you will need to book in first with your community pharmacy if you decide to go there for your flu vaccination.”
In addition to 50-64-year olds and the other groups listed above, the flu vaccine is also available for children in these age groups:
○ Over the age of six months with a long-term health condition;
○ Aged two and three years on August 31, 2020 (i.e. born between September 1, 2016 and August 31, 2018);
○ In primary school;
○ Children in year seven at secondary school
This year’s flu vaccination programme is the most comprehensive one ever in UK history and the flu vaccine will be offered to 30 million people in England this year. The aim is by getting vaccinated people can do their bit to help the NHS as it continues to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, meaning less beds may be taken up withpatients affected by flu. The vaccination is free (from your GP practice or pharmacist) for eligible people as they are deemed as most in need of help to fight off the virus.