People in Sefton are being urged to get their flu and COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they are offered, to boost their immunity this winter.
Each year, GPs in the borough call on those who are eligible to get their flu jab to help protect themselves, their family and friends. This year the offer of a flu jab is being extended to anyone aged 50 and over, as well as to those in high-risk groups. With COVID-19 still in circulation, vaccinating against flu is more important than ever before.
Dr Pete Chamberlain, local GP and chair at NHS South Sefton CCG said: “Flu is extremely contagious and it can be debilitating for anyone and for those in ‘at risk’ groups it can have a serious impact.”
“If you are very young, old, pregnant or living with some health conditions, you could become seriously ill with flu. So, we are asking everyone that is eligible for the flu jab to ensure they get it as soon as it is offered. It is a simple procedure that could ultimately save lives.”
The NHS is also delivering the COVID-19 booster and. many GP surgeries are already contacting their most ‘at risk’ patients to arrange suitable appointments for their jabs. Those eligible for the COVID-19 booster will be able to have it from at least six months or 26 weeks after they have had their second jab. People should not contact their NHS as they will receive a letter or text inviting them for their booster jab when it is their turn. It may be possible for some people to have both jabs together, but people are being advised not to delay getting either vaccine, if they can’t be administered at the same time.
Dr Rob Caudwell local GP and chair of NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said. “We would encourage you to get your vaccines as soon as possible to increase your protection rather than waiting to get them at the same time. COVID-19 and Flu are completely different viruses. Flu changes strains each year, so getting this vaccination is just as important to protecting yourself and those around you this winter.”
“Health and care systems are working harder than ever to provide the best service they can, so getting your jabs is another important way to help us to help you through the busy winter period.”
Health and social care workers are among those eligible for the booster, via the National Booking Service to receive their booster at least six months or 26 weeks after they have had their second jab.
Research has shown that you’re more likely to be seriously ill if you get flu and COVID-19 together at the same time.
Dr Rob Caudwell, adds: “It’s amazing that so many people have had their COVID-19 vaccine, and if you’ve yet to have yours, it’s never too late.”
Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health said: “Vaccination is the best way we can protect ourselves both against flu and the COVID-19 virus, so I would urge everyone to get their flu jab and COVID booster as soon as they are invited or offered them.
“By getting vaccinated we are not only defending ourselves against these very unpleasant and, for some people, dangerous viruses but we are also protecting our family, friends and colleagues.”
For more information on flu, visit the NHS website at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/flu
Those who are eligible for a free flu vaccine this year include:
- children aged 2 to 15 (but not 16 years or older) on 31 August 2021 – who will be offered a nasal spray
- those aged 6 months to under 50 years in clinical risk groups
- pregnant women
- those aged 50 years and over
- those in long-stay residential care homes
- close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
- frontline health and social care staff employed by:
- a registered residential care or nursing home
- registered domiciliary care provider
- a voluntary managed hospice provider.
More information about the COVID-19 booster programme is available here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/.