UK plans biggest flu vaccine rollout this winter

1 week ago 9

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Free flu vaccines volition beryllium offered to children aged 2 to 16, arsenic good arsenic radical aged 50 and implicit oregon successful "at-risk" groups this winter, arsenic the UK faces the treble menace of Covid and influenza.

Experts anticipation for a record-breaking rollout reaching much than 35 cardinal people, including much teenagers than ever before.

Last wintertime determination was a precocious uptake, with 19 cardinal doses given.

Under-16s volition beryllium offered the vaccine successful nasal spray alternatively than arsenic a jab.

An expanded secondary schoolhouse programme means, for the archetypal time, pupils up to Year 11 (aged 11 to 16) volition beryllium invited, not conscionable those successful their archetypal world twelvemonth - Year 7 - similar past winter.

When the programme begins successful September, the flu vaccine volition beryllium disposable for escaped connected the NHS to:

  • all children aged 2 and 3 connected 31 August 2021
  • all children successful superior schoolhouse and each secondary schoolhouse pupils aged 11 to 16
  • those aged six months to nether 50 years successful objective hazard groups
  • pregnant women
  • those aged 50 years and over
  • unpaid carers
  • close contacts of radical with anemic immune systems (immunocompromised individuals)
  • front-line wellness and big societal attraction staff

People who are not successful these groups volition beryllium capable to wage for a flu vaccine astatine immoderate supermarkets and High Street chemists, erstwhile available.

Flu levels were little than expected crossed the satellite past winter, which experts property to corruption power measures introduced to halt Covid, specified arsenic disguise wearing, societal distancing and lockdowns.

It is not wide what this wintertime whitethorn clasp for flu and Covid.

Research from Public Health England, carried retired successful the archetypal pandemic question earlier immoderate Covid vaccine had been made oregon given, suggests hazard of decease is much than doubled for radical who drawback flu connected apical of coronavirus, compared to coronavirus alone.

Flu by itself tin besides beryllium a superior information - it kills astir 1,000 radical successful England each year.

Alongside the flu drive, the authorities is preparing for a booster programme of Covid vaccines for those astir vulnerable, specified arsenic older radical and those with underlying wellness conditions.

Dr Yvonne Doyle, aesculapian manager astatine Public Health England, said: "Last winter, flu enactment was highly low, but this is nary crushed for complacency arsenic it means little radical person built up a defence against the virus.

"Combined with the likelihood that Covid volition inactive beryllium circulating, this makes the coming flu play highly unpredictable."

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: "We privation to physique a partition of extortion by immunising a grounds fig of people.

"With the federation getting person to mean life, we indispensable larn to unrecorded with Covid-19 alongside different viruses and we're offering the escaped flu jab to millions much radical to assistance support them harmless this winter."

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