James Duddridge MP is urging residents across Southend and Rochford who are eligible for the flu jab to get one this winter, as the Government launches its drive to vaccine 30 million people.
It comes as new research from Public Health England suggests that people who test positive for both flu and Covid-19 were more than twice as likely to die, compared to those with Covid-19 alone. The research also found that those with co-infection of the two viruses were more at risk of severe illness.
This year, the flu vaccination programme is being expanded to help protect people from flu and ease pressure on the NHS and urgent care services. The health system is working to provide the free flu vaccine to 30 million people, the highest number on record, including:
- All primary school children, and, for the first time, Year 7 children.
- Two and three year olds.
- The most vulnerable people, including adults aged 65 and over, those with long-term health conditions and pregnant women.
- Household contact of people on the NHS Shielded Patient List and all health and social care workers who have direct contact with the people they care for.
Once uptake has been maximised in the most at-risk groups, the newly eligible 50-64-year olds will be invited for vaccination later in the season.
Commenting, James Duddridge, Member of Parliament for Rochford and Southend East said:
“With winter just a few months away, it’s really important that those who are eligible take up the offer to have a flu jab as it could make a big difference, should they catch coronavirus.
“By taking these sensible steps, along with washing our hands, covering our face and maintaining social distancing, we can all play our part in controlling the spread of the virus whilst protecting the NHS.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:
“This year more than ever, it’s vital that those eligible for the flu jab get it this winter so you can protect yourself, your family and the NHS. We’re pulling out all the stops to prepare for this uniquely challenging winter and we have enough vaccines for 30 million people this year, more than we’ve ever done before.
“With the simultaneous risk of flu and COVID-19, make sure you get your flu jab if you’re eligible, don’t gather in groups larger than six and remember ‘Hands Face Space’ so we can look after each other.”