Wolverhampton North East MP Jane Stevenson has urged people eligible for the flu jab in the city to get one this winter, as the Government launches its drive to vaccinate 30 million people.
The drive to vaccines comes as new research from Public Health England suggests that people who tested positive for both flu and Covid-19 were more than twice as likely to die, compared to those with Covid-19 alone. The research also found that those with co-infection of the two viruses were more at risk of severe illness.
This year, the flu vaccination programme 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 pregnancy 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.
Once uptake has been maximised in the most at-risk groups, the newly eligible 50-64-year olds will be invited for vaccination later in the season.
Jane said: “As we approach the winter season, it is absolutely vital that everyone in Wolverhampton who needs a flu vaccination gets one. I am urging everyone eligible for a flu jab to get themselves vaccinated, as it could make an important difference in our fight against coronavirus.
“Controlling the spread of the virus and protecting the NHS falls on all of us. We must continue to wash our hands, cover our faces and make space, as well as take sensible steps such as getting a flu jab.
“I know that GP surgeries across the city are already making preparations to vaccinate their patients who are in high risk groups.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock 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.
“With the simultaneous risk of flu and Covid-19, make sure you get your flu jab if you’re eligible, don’t gather in groups larger than 6 and remember ‘Hands Face Space’ so we can look after each other.”