Health and care partners across Coventry and Warwickshire are encouraging residents to help protect the NHS by having their flu vaccination
Health and care partners across Coventry and Warwickshire are encouraging residents to help protect the NHS by having their flu vaccination on time this year to avoid an increase in this serious preventable illness.
Residents are being urged to think about how cold weather and winter viruses may affect them, vulnerable family members and neighbours this year, especially while the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing. Although the flu vaccination does not protect people from coronavirus, scientist are expecting a surge in virus cases in the autumn/winter period of the year when flu season peaks.
This year’s free flu vaccine will be offered to more people than before to help protect the health of our communities
This includes those:
- Aged 65 or over
- Pregnant women
- All adults and children (from the age of 6 months) with chronic conditions such as COPD and Diabetes, and others that affect a range of body systems
- Any child from the age of 2, through to Year 7 school age
- Carers and those working in health and social care
- People who were required to shield from coronavirus and anyone they live with
- Later in the year people aged between 50 and 64 will also be included
GPs or the School Immunisation and Vaccination service will shortly be in touch with people who fall into these categories to get their jabs booked in. Many pharmacies across Coventry and Warwickshire will also be offering free flu vaccines.
The councils in Coventry and Warwickshire are strongly advising that all residents who are eligible have a flu vaccination to try to reduce the impact on the NHS and social care, and to protect those at risk and prevent ill-health.
Only 70% of over 65s and less than half of those with chronic health conditions had the flu vaccination last year, both groups being at higher risk of complications from both flu and COVID-19
Councillor Les Caborn, portfolio holder for Adult Social Care and Health at Warwickshire County Council said:
“Warwickshire County Council is encouraging anyone who is eligible to attend their free flu vaccination appointment. Covid 19 is still prevalent and we should all take steps to protect ourselves and others from serious, preventable viruses such as flu.
“Protecting vulnerable people from flu, and also protecting our health and social care services this winter is a priority for us. Vaccinating healthy children is also an important way of protecting others. Although flu is a mild illness in most, it can and does kill. We urge people to make their appointment today and not to delay.”
Councillor Kamran Caan, portfolio holder for Public and Sport at Coventry City Council said:
“It is more important than ever to have the flu jab this year, by working together we can help to protect our health, our communities and our city from serious preventable winter illnesses.
“Vulnerable groups of people can become seriously ill from the flu, developing other health problems like bronchitis and pneumonia which may lead to a stay in hospital in order to fight it off. Flu can also be fatal. Equally, vaccinating your child helps to stop the spread of the infection which also protects the most vulnerable members of our community.
“We not only need to think of our own health and that of our families, but also how we can reduce pressure on our NHS, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing. If you do just one thing this winter, protect your family and the NHS and get vaccinated."
Sarah Raistrick, Coventry GP and Chair of Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group said:
“If you, or someone you know is invited by their GP practice to have their free flu vaccine, its’ important to get vaccinated. The flu vaccine is safe, it can’t give you the flu. Flu is much worse than a bad cold and shouldn’t be under estimated especially this year. Please do take the opportunity to protect yourself and your community”
For anyone living in Coventry or Warwickshire who needs advice and is worried about keeping their home warm, there is a free service, run by local energy advice charity Act of Energy. The service can also help with fuel bills and benefits advice entitlements, including whether you are eligible for heating and insulation measures. They can be contacted 0800 988 2881.
For information about flu vaccinations, visit: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/flu