25 million to be offered free NHS flu jab this winter

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Torbay Council’s Public Health Team is supporting a campaign to get record numbers of people in England vaccinated against flu this winter.

This will include all primary school children who will be offered the nasal spray vaccine for the first time.
Director of Public Health, Caroline Dimond, has said: “The health service in England has prepared for its largest ever flu protection drive to help keep people well and ease pressure on urgent care services over the colder months.

“The number of people eligible has topped 25 million this year as the offer of the vaccine is now extended to all primary school aged children – an extra 600,000 children.

“NHS commissioned school vaccination teams, maternity services, general practices and local pharmacies are geared up to deliver vaccines to primary school aged children, two and three-year olds, those with underlying health conditions, pregnant women and older adults aged 65 years and over.”

Employers of frontline health and social care workers also have a responsibility to ensure their staff can get the free vaccine. A record number of NHS staff – almost three quarters of a million, or 70.3% of frontline workers – took up their workplace jab last year.

Professor Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England, said: “Every winter there is always the threat of a bad flu season. Flu is a serious illness and can even be deadly for the most vulnerable of our population. That’s why it’s vital that we are prepared and always working to offer people better protection.

“This year, more vaccines are available and every primary school child will be offered a flu vaccine. Children are ‘super spreaders’ of flu. Flu vaccination not only protects the children but it also protects other more vulnerable members of the community from a potentially horrible illness.

“If you or your child are in an eligible group, make sure you get a flu vaccine. It’s the best defence we have against an unpredictable virus.”

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