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.
Due to the need for social distancing there will no longer be any walk in clinics, you will need to make an appointment to get your flu jab. We will run flu clinics on the weekdays and on some Saturdays we will also run flu clinics where you are asked to book in to an hourly slot, e.g. 09:00-10:00, and you can turn up at any time during this hour slot. Please can you call the surgery for more information on this and to book your flu jab.
Currently we will run Saturday clinics on: 26th September 2020, 3rd October and 10th October at both sites, please do not just turn up on these days as you will need an appointment. This is to make sure that we are able to manage the number of people arriving to the surgery.
If you have needed to shield during this pandemic then it is recommended that you book for a weekday flu clinic slot.
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
- Children in Year 7 (secondary school)
- Frontline health or social care workers
Flu Jabs for patients aged 50 – 64
Flu jabs MAY be offered to patients aged 50-64, who do not have an ‘at risk condition’ (see NHS: Who should have the flu vaccine?), on the NHS, more information on this will follow as soon as we get an update. A decision on this is expected to be made by the NHS around November.