London,
25
September
2020
|
10:53
Europe/Amsterdam

Protect yourself, your loved ones and the NHS this winter by getting your flu jab

City and Hackney residents at higher risk from developing severe seasonal flu (influenza) are being urged to have a free flu vaccine this autumn.

Anyone can catch the flu, but it can be a much worse illness for people at higher risk. As we enter flu season, getting a vaccination can help to protect you from flu and avoid putting pressure on the NHS.

You can help prevent the spread of flu (and COVID-19) by covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, washing your hands frequently or using hand gels, and throwing any used tissues in the bin as soon as possible.

Speak to your GP, practice nurse or pharmacist today to book a vaccination appointment, to get the best possible protection. If you are concerned about visiting your GP or pharmacy because of coronavirus, please feel reassured that healthcare services have all the necessary protocols in place to protect you and can answer any questions you may have. They may also be able to make alternative arrangements if you think you may struggle to get to a GP surgery or pharmacy. 

People most at risk from flu and eligible for a free flu jab from September include:

  • all adults 65 and over
  • all children aged 2 to 11 
  • people with certain medical conditions making them at risk (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months of age)
    • chronic (long-term) respiratory disease, such as severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchitis 
    • chronic heart disease, such as heart failure 
    • chronic kidney disease 
    • chronic liver disease 
    • chronic neurological disease, such as Parkinson’s disease or motor neurone disease
    • learning disability 
    • diabetes 
    • a weakened immune system due to disease (such as HIV/AIDS) or treatment (such as cancer treatment) 
    • morbidly obese (defined as BMI of 40 and above)
  • all pregnant women
  • people living with someone who's at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
  • all frontline health or social care workers
  • adults aged 50 to 64 may also be eligible later on in the season - more details to follow

If you belong to one of the groups mentioned above, it is important that you have the flu vaccination this season even if you were vaccinated last year. The flu virus frequently changes, so the vaccine is different from year to year to keep up with it. The flu vaccination does not provide protection against coronavirus.For pregnant women, the vaccine may also be available through maternity services and for frontline health and social care workers, arrangements can be made through your employer.

Children will be offered the flu vaccine through their school. It is important that parents sign and return the flu vaccine consent form for their child. 

Randall Keith Anderson, City of London Corporation Community & Children's Services Committee Chairman said:

“We are encouraging the most vulnerable in our community to get vaccinated against flu as soon as possible.

“It’s a simple, free and easy way to protect yourself and others this winter against life-threatening viruses, and in turn will help relieve pressure on our already overstretched NHS.

So don’t delay what could be a life-saving decision - go and get the jab.”

Marianne Fredericks, City Corporation Health and Wellbeing Board Chairman said:

“This year more of our residents than ever before are eligible for the free flu jab. If you are one of those residents, we are urging you to get your vaccine as soon as possible.

“Flu can be fatal, so if you are vulnerable, getting your free jab is vitally important. Together we can avoid putting pressure on the NHS during what will be an especially challenging winter season.

“Play your part in protecting yourself, your loved ones and your community by getting your free flu jab via the NHS.”

Mark Rickets, GP and Chair of NHS City & Hackney CCG, said:

Getting a free NHS flu vaccination is a quick and simple way that people can help to save lives and reduce pressure on our hardworking frontline staff this winter.

“GPs, nurses, community pharmacists and others will be going to great lengths this year to give this vital protection to millions more people in a safe and convenient way, so when the time comes I would urge everyone invited for a flu vaccination to get it as soon as possible.

“All frontline health and social care workers will also be urged to get their free vaccine to protect themselves and their patients or residents from the flu.”

Dr Sandra Husbands, Director of Public Health for Hackney and the City and Dr Deborah Colvin City and Hackney GP Confederation said:

“It is more important than ever this year that eligible people are getting the flu vaccination to prevent a spike in flu cases and a possible second spike of coronavirus happening at the same time, causing a lot of illness and overwhelming the NHS this winter. 

“The flu vaccine protects the individual but also stops flu spreading around the community. We have a vaccination for the flu, something we don’t yet have for coronavirus. 

“Flu vaccinations have saved millions of people over the years from catching the flu, which means less illness and fewer GP appointments and hospital admissions, so we can spare the NHS this winter. 

“So do your bit for community immunity this winter, get the flu vaccine, stay safe, protect your community and the NHS.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

About the City of London Corporation

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk