High flu vaccine uptake in people aged 65+ in North West

Date published: 21 January 2021

Despite the challenges of Covid-19 this winter, record numbers of people in the North West have received their flu vaccination.

In the North West, the NHS has so far vaccinated 77.3.3% of those aged 65 years and over against flu this season which exceeds the World Health Organization uptake ambition of 75%.  

Uptake in two and three-year-old children and clinical at-risk groups (aged under 65 years) has increased from last year.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “It is thanks to all our frontline health care workers that the uptake of the flu vaccine is so high this year and it’s a brilliant achievement that we have vaccinated more people who are 65 and over than ever before. We knew how challenging this winter would be, but the NHS is used to delivering these large vaccination programmes to those who need it most.

“This is in addition to the incredible work going on by everyone to roll out the Covid-19 vaccine as fast as possible. If you are called for either your flu or Covid-19 vaccination, please make sure you get it to protect you and your loved ones.”

Flu is a serious condition that kills on average 11,000 people in England each year and hospitalises many more.

The flu vaccine saves lives and with Covid-19 also circulating, it is more important than ever that people get vaccinated to help protect people in the North West from a double threat this winter whilst relieving pressure on the NHS and social care system when they are dealing with high numbers of Covid-19.

Dianne Draper, Screening and Immunisation for Public Health England North West, said: “If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to get your flu vaccine this year, I’d like to remind you that it’s not too late. It’s important that you get vaccinated to protect you from catching flu and prevent it spreading among your family, friends and community.

“With Covid-19 in circulation this flu season, it is more important than ever to reduce the number of people becoming ill with flu this winter to help protect them and the NHS.”

The flu vaccine is the best defence against flu. People who are eligible for the free flu vaccine under the national NHS programme this year include:

  • People aged 65 years and over
  • Those aged six months to 64 with a long-term health condition
  • Children aged two to three (on 31 August 2020) via their GP practice
  • Primary school children
  • Pregnant women
  • Frontline health and social care workers
  • Main carers of an older or disabled person
  • Household contacts of people on the NHS Shielded Patient List
  • Those aged 50-64 years (including those who turn 50 by the 31 March 2021)

From 1 December 2020, the flu immunisation programme was expanded to include those aged 50-64 years and year seven school pupils.

So, if you’ve not had yours yet, you can make an appointment at your General Practice or Community Pharmacy to get your flu jab today.

A pharmacy finder has been launched which points people to their nearest participating pharmacy providing flu vaccines: www.nhs.uk/service-search/pharmacy/pharmacy-nhs-flu-vaccine-service

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