Our local NHS is encouraging the population to take up the flu vaccine this winter.
Following the interventions put in place for Covid-19, such as mask wearing, social distancing and restricted international travel, the cases of flu were extremely low globally in 2020 to 2021. As a result, fewer people are expected to be immune to flu between 2021 and 2022.
Projections indicate the 2021 to 2022 flu season could be 50 per cent larger than typically seen and it is also possible for people to suffer from flu earlier than usual.
Adding to the pressures already faced by the NHS, the coming winter will be the first in the UK when the flu virus (and other respiratory viruses) will exist alongside Covid-19, with there also being the possibility for both viruses to coincide.
Flu vaccinations are therefore an important priority to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with the virus, and to reduce hospitalisations during a time when the NHS and social care may also be managing winter outbreaks of Covid-19.
Video credit to ITV West Country
The following groups are eligible to receive their flu vaccinations this year:
- Carers – young or adult
- Health and social care workers
- Residential Care home staff
- Household contact of those in the NHS shieled list and immunocompromised individuals
- At risk school aged children
- All 2-3 year olds
- Any individuals in at-risk groups
If you are eligible for the free flu vaccine, you may get it either from your own GP practice, once you are invited, or any pharmacy offering NHS flu vaccinations.