Buckinghamshire has already exceeded its target number for people aged 65-and-over to get their flu vaccination this year – and there is still time for others to get their jab to help them stay safe this winter.
So far 76.5% of the 65-and-over age group have been vaccinated across Buckinghamshire, exceeding the 75% target set by Public Health England. This means that around 82, 750 individuals in this age group has had a flu jab – and there is still time for more to join them.
People are being reminded that it is not ‘just’ the flu but is instead a serious illness that can cause severe complications. With flu and COVID both circulating this winter, it’s more important than ever that people are vaccinated to protect themselves, their families, friends and colleagues, and the NHS. Studies have shown that there can be very serious health consequences if people have both flu and COVID at the same time.
The flu vaccination programme is continuing throughout December and into the new year. If you are aged 65-and-over or are a pregnant woman and have not had your free jab yet, please contact your GP surgery as soon as possible. Children aged from 2-11 are also eligible for a flu vaccination, those children not of school age will be invited by their GP. Over 18, 000 flu vaccinations were carried out in schools in November alone.
This year, people aged 50-64 are also eligible for a free flu vaccination – please wait for an invitation from your GP practice to arrange this. Vaccinations are all being organised in safe and COVID-secure ways.
Caroline Capell, Director of Urgent and Emergency Care for Buckinghamshire Integrated Care Partnership, said: “It’s great news that our 65 year old and over programme has already exceeded its 75% target and I’d like to thank all those who have worked incredibly hard to make this happen in such challenging circumstances, in particular staff in GP practices, pharmacies and school immunisation teams
“If you haven’t been vaccinated against the flu yet this year and are eligible for a free jab, there is still time – appointments will continue throughout winter and are being scheduled by practices and pharmacies. Your GP will contact you to remind you to book – including people aged 50-64 this year – and we are grateful for your patience as new stocks arrive.”
Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health at Buckinghamshire Council, said: “It is more important than ever for people over 65 to get a flu vaccination this year, especially as those with co-infection of COVID-19 and flu are more at risk of severe illness. The COVID-19 vaccine may also be on the way, but it will take time to roll it out to all those who need it. It is vital that in the meantime we still take all the precautions we can to stay safe ourselves, and to make sure our families and loved ones are protected.
“If you are eligible to have a free flu vaccine this winter, please do get one.”
To find out more about the flu jab and who is eligible for a free flu vaccination, please go to: www.nhs.uk/flujab