NHS flu vaccinations come as a requirement for many people every year, mainly those who work in the healthcare sector. For everyone else, the jab is a choice, but some people will need it more than others. As with coronavirus, the flu is a potentially deadly disease which kills tens of thousands of people every year.
Who should get a flu jab?
Anyone in the UK can get a flu jab from a private provider via a pharmacy, but some people can also get one for free.
The NHS prioritises select groups more likely to suffer severely from the disease than others.
Officials have released a full list of those who should visit their GP for a free vaccine.
They include the following groups:
- Over 65s
- Pregnant women
- People with select medical conditions (such as diabetes, chronic heart or liver disease etc.)
- Residents of a long-term care home or facility
- Recipients of a carer’s allowance
- Carers for elderly or disabled people who’s welfare would suffer if they fell ill
- People living with someone at high risk of catching COVID-19 or who expects to live with them during the winter
The Government recently announced it would expand its vaccination programme cohort in 2020.
Officials said they aim to vaccinate more than 30 million people during the flu season this year.
As such, anyone aged over 50 can now get a jab free on the NHS.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said it would invite people to take part in the programme.
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A spokesman for the department said: “Providers will work to vaccinate more than 30 million people during this flu season – millions more than received it last year.
“A significant new group will be eligible for the free flu vaccine as people over 50to 64 will be invited later in the season for a vaccination.”
The DHSC added it would decide when to invite people aged between 50 and 64 to participate once they have attended to those most at risk.
They added: “The NHS will contact people directly, including information about where to go to get the vaccine.”
Professor Martin Marshall, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), added the Government needs to provide assurance it can meet demand.
He said: “This announcement of an extension to the flu programme is sensible as we prepare the NHS for a busy winter and potential second wave of Covid-19, but GPs and our teams, who will be delivering the majority of vaccinations, need more detail about the practicalities of how it will work.
“Practices plan meticulously for the flu season every year to ensure the vaccination programme runs smoothly and as many people as possible get vaccinated – they will have made their orders at the beginning of the year and will need to amend these.
“We also need assurance that the Government can guarantee adequate supply for everyone covered under the extension.”
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