As autumn approaches in the coming months, now is the time to start thinking about getting the annual flu jab. This year, the free jab will be offered to more people amidst concerns around the still-present coronavirus.
The NHS flu programme in England typically offers the flu vaccine to those over the age of 65, pregnant women and those with existing health conditions or weakened immune systems. These groups will remain a high priority this year, while the programme will also be extended to reach out to more people.
In a typical winter, flu is one of the biggest health concerns for many older and vulnerable people. With the additional threat of coronavirus this year, the public are being advised to take extra care to avoid both of these diseases. The government hopes for as many people as possible to receive the flu jab to reduce the risk of caregivers and healthcare workers coming under immense pressure.
We will be holding our Flu Clinics over the next few months. Due to the current COVID-19 situation they will operate in a slightly different way to previous years to protect our patients and staff. This will include smaller clinics at predominantly at Whitchurch Surgery or St Mary Bourne Village Hall so that social distancing measures can be implemented. You may also have to queue outside for your own safety. You will receive a letter, text or phone call invite or you can check with the practice if you think you are eligible.
We will be vaccinating clinically vulnerable patients who have been shielding from coronavirus. These patients alongside any family members they live with will be a priority.
This year the flu vaccine is being offer on the NHS to:
- Adults 65 and over
- People with certain medical conditions (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months)
- Pregnant women
- People living with someone who’s at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
- Children aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2020
- Children in Primary School (given in school)
- Children in Year 7 (secondary school)
- Frontline health or social care workers
Please call the practice after 10:00 to book your flu jab now. Clinics are starting from the end of September for the groups listed above.
Flu Jabs for patients aged 50 – 64
Clinics for the new 2020 cohort of eligible patients aged 50-64, who do not have an ‘at risk condition’ (see NHS UK: Who should have the flu vaccine?) will follow soon. These dates and times will be announced on our website. Do not contact the practice until the clinics are announced.