People eligible for the free flu jab are being urged to get vaccinated as soon as possible to help protect themselves against flu.
This winter, with both flu and Covid-19 in circulation, it is even more important that people at risk from flu get vaccinated. This comes after Public Health England found the risk of death more than doubled among people who became infected with both flu and Covid-19 at the same time earlier this year.
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Flu is a serious condition that kills, on average, 11,000 people in England each year and hospitalises many more. Adults at high risk from flu are also most at risk from Covid-19. If you are eligible for the free vaccine, please contact your GP or pharmacy and have your jab as soon as possible."
Two of the nation’s most senior medics have also called on all eligible people to get their flu jab. Dr Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England, said: "It is dangerous to dismiss influenza as ‘just’ the flu – it can be extremely serious and can lead to hospitalisation, permanent disability or even death. The flu vaccine is more important than ever, to help reduce transmission of flu and protect the nation from the double threat of flu and Covid-19."
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam added: "Flu can be deadly and it is easily spread in children and adults. The vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from becoming ill with the flu, especially if you are in a vulnerable group. With Covid-19 still circulating, and the increased risk to life if you are ill with both viruses simultaneously, it is even more vital to get the free jab as soon as you can."
Free vaccinations are available through GPs or pharmacies for:
- people aged 65 years old or over;
- pregnant women;
- people with certain medical conditions;
- people living in long-stay care;
- health and social care staff,
- anyone who lives with someone who has been shielding from coronavirus;
- children over the age of six months with a long-term health condition;
- children aged two and three.
Meanwhile, pupils from Reception through to Year 7 are eligible for a free vaccination delivered via a quick and painless nasal spray, and Wolverhampton’s award-winning Flu Fighters campaign has returned once more to encourage pupils to get their vaccine.
Free copies of this year's out-of-this-world storybook, Flu Fighters in Close Encounters of the Germed Kind, along with information about the vaccine and consent forms, are being distributed to all primary aged children in the city in the coming weeks with parents encouraged to return their consent forms as soon as they receive them to ensure their child doesn’t miss out.
To find out more, please visit www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/flufighters.