Brentwood and Ongar MP Alex Burghart has urged all those people in Brentwood and Ongar who are eligible for the flu jab to get one this winter, as the Government launches its drive to vaccine 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.
Alex said: “As winter approaches, it is crucial that those who need a flu vaccination have one. I actively encourage everyone in Brentwood and Ongar who is eligible for the vaccination to be vaccinated. Importantly, this could also make a difference if you should unfortunately catch coronavirus in the coming months. It is all of our responsibilities to control the spread of coronavirus and protect the NHS – we must all wash our hands, cover our faces and make space – in addition to taking sensible steps like having the flu vaccination.”
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.” ENDS
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Notes to Editors
- Rolling out the largest flu vaccination programme in history. 30 million people will be eligible to receive a flu jab this year, after the Government expanded eligibility to include everyone aged 50 and over, all school year groups to year 7 and people who are the Shielded Patient List, as well as people aged over 65 (DHSC, Press Release, 24 July 2020, link).
- New research shows the dangers of getting both flu and Covid-19. Research from Public Health England (PHE) 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, looking at cases between January and April this year, also found that those with co-infection of the two viruses were more at risk of severe illness. Most cases of co-infection were in older people and more than half of them died (DHSC, Press Release, 22 September 2020, archived).