5 million to be offered free flu jab by NHSMegan Orito
5 million to be offered free flu jab by NHS.
5 million people across England will be offered a free flu vaccine this winter. In addition to this, every child in the UK will be offered the nasal spray.
Three top medics have urged people who might be at risk of getting and spreading flu to get their free NHS vaccination this winter.
Flu is a viral infection spread through coughs and sneezes. It normally goes after around a week or so but more serious cases can be deadly.
This will be the largest ever flu prevention measure to date, with 5 million people offered the vaccine to relive urgent care pressures during the colder months of winter.
25 million people are eligible for the vaccine this year now that the offer has been extended to all primary school-aged children – an additional 600,000 children.
The vaccine had on average a 95% success rate over the past year against all strains.
Primary school ages children, toddlers, individuals with health conditions, pregnant women and over 65s will be provided with the preventative methods commissioned by the NHS.
A priority is vaccinating frontline health and social care workers, who deal with the public and are at risk of catching and spreading the germs. A record number of NHS staff, almost 3 quarters of a million, took up their workplace jab last year.
Professor Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England (PHE), said:
“Every winter there is always the threat of a bad flu season. Flu is a serious illness and can even be deadly for the most vulnerable of our population.
“That’s why it’s vital that we are prepared and always working to offer people better protection.
“This year, more vaccines are available and every primary school child will be offered a flu vaccine. Children are ‘super spreaders’ of flu. Flu vaccination not only protects the children but it also protects other more vulnerable members of the community from a potentially horrible illness.”
Professor Stephen Powis, National Medical Director at NHS England, said:
“People might think that flu is just a cough or cold, but actually this serious illness can have devastating effects on people including causing death in some cases.
“NHS services across England have been working hard to prepare for the winter season, including staff in every part of the country getting their flu jab in the coming weeks, so now we’re appealing to the public to Help Us, Help You by ensuring that you, your children or relatives take up the free and convenient flu vaccine as soon as you can.”
NHS England has also urged the public to practice good hygiene to go with the flu vaccine, catching coughs and sneezes in tissue and keeping hands clean at all times.
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