Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Groups (BLMK CCGs) are urging residents in high risk groups to get their flu vaccination.
Flu can cause severe illness, especially for people with underlying health conditions. The CCGs say this is why it is important for people in at risk groups to get vaccinated.
GP practices and pharmacies are continuing to run flu clinics during the current national lockdown and patients should continue to attend clinics when invited.
The flu vaccination will not protect against coronavirus. However those at higher risk from coronavirus, are also at higher risk of developing complications from flu.
Dr Sanhita Chakrabarti, the clinical lead and lead for the Flu Programme for Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Groups said:
“The flu vaccine is safe and effective. It will prevent serious health complications associated with the flu and can save lives. Anyone who is invited by their GP to have the free flu jab should not think twice about having it.
“Your GP and local pharmacy will still be open during lockdown to provide flu vaccinations to both adults and children.”
Those eligible for a free flu vaccine are:
- Aged 65 and over (including those who’ll be 65 by 31 March 2021)
- Have certain health conditions such as Diabetes, Heart Problems, Liver Disease and Kidney Disease
- Are pregnant
- Are in a long-stay residential care
- Receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
- Live with someone who’s at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
- Frontline health or social care workers
To maintain social distancing, flu clinics will be operating differently this year to ensure patients and staff are kept safe.
GP practices will notify patients how they will be delivering flu clinics before their appointment. Clinics will continue taking into account any changes in line with local and national guidance.
This year the NHS is embarking on its most ambitious flu vaccination programme to date that will include all school children up to year seven and, subject to availability, people aged 50 to 64, who don’t normally have a flu jab, may also be offered one. However, flu vaccines will first go to those most at risk.
More information on the flu vaccination is available at Seasonal Flu.