Will you opt for the flu jab this year?
Flu vaccination programme extended to adults aged 50 and over and 11-year-olds
There are worries that people could suffer both seasonal flu and Covid-19 at the same time this winter.
The Government is aiming to double its winter flu vaccination programme in England to 30 million people, with free jabs for those aged 50 and over and 11-year-olds.
Last year, around 15 million people received a jab against seasonal flu but ministers hope this will rise to 30 million this winter.
Experts are concerned about the impact of a double whammy of Covid-19 cases and seasonal flu potentially overwhelming the NHS.
There are also worries that people could suffer both seasonal flu and Covid-19 at the same time.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he wants “everybody to get a flu jab”.
Speaking to the media, he said: “We want everybody to get a flu jab in the run-up to this winter and that’s why we’re rolling out the biggest ever programme of flu immunisation.
“And we’re aiming first of all for schoolchildren up to Year 7, for pregnant women, for people over 65, for people who are shielded, but then we will be extending it to people who are 50 to 65.
“Now the reason for doing this is to protect the NHS in the winter months because obviously we have still got Covid, we have still got the threat of a second spike on Covid and it’s vital therefore to keep that pressure off the NHS by everybody getting a flu jab and I really hope everybody will.”
At the moment, the free NHS flu programme is for people aged 65 and over, pregnant women, people with certain conditions such as kidney disease, asthma or heart disease and carers or those in care homes.
Frontline health and social care workers are also eligible to receive the flu vaccine.
The flu jab is also free for children over six months with a long-term health condition, those aged two and three and those in primary school.
This programme will now be extended to include children who are aged 11 by the end of August this year (the first year of secondary school) and anyone aged 50 and over, who will be vaccinated later in the year.
Anyone living in a household with somebody on the NHS shielded patient list for Covid-19 will also be eligible for a free jab.
Experts hope GP surgeries will focus on high-risk groups before those aged over 50 in the fit and healthy range.
Not all GP surgeries will have enough fridge space to accept all the doses of the vaccine that they will need.
However, the aim is that all those eligible will have had their vaccine by Christmas.
How do you feel about this? Are you happy to accept the flu jab? Do you usually have the annual injection anyway?
What are your views?
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