North East Herts MP Oliver Heald has urged all those people in North East Hertfordshire who are eligible for the flu jab to get one this winter, as the Government launches its drive to vaccinate 30 million people.
The drive for vaccinations 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 year olds; the most vulnerable people, including adults aged 65 and over, those with long-term health conditions and pregnant women; as well as households 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.
Commenting, Oliver said: “As we approach the winter, it is imperative that everyone who needs a flu vaccination takes up the offer to have one. I urge everyone in North East Hertfordshire who is eligible to get vaccinated, which could make an important difference if they should also catch coronavirus in the months ahead. Controlling the spread of coronavirus and protecting the NHS is the responsibility of us all – we must all wash our hands, cover our faces and make space – as well as taking sensible steps like getting a flu jab.”