Posted on October 2019 By Jamie Southwell
As winter is around the corner the NHS prepare their patients for the inevitable flu infections but this year however, it’ll be record smashing season as the healthcare service have announced they’ll be offering flu shots to over 30 million people.
The flu campaign is set to be an all-time high as they’ve already announced they’re aiming to offer free shots to as many as 30 million, this will include an estimated total of 600,000 primary school children aged between 10-11. Alongside their free vaccinations, children between 2 to 11 are also going to be receiving a free nasal spray after being deemed “super-spreaders” by the NHS over the last couple of years.
Everyone eligible to receive free flu vaccinations under the NHS this year are as following:
•Anyone aged 65 and over
•Anyone aged 6 months to 65 years with a long term health condition
•Children aged 2 to 3 (on 31 August 2019) via their GP practice
•School children in years reception, 1,2,3,4,5, and 6
•Health and social workers
All employers of front line health and social workers are required to provide their staff with a free vaccine and the benefits speak for themselves after just last year, an astonishing 3 quarters of a million NHS staff took up the opportunity to receive the free jab.
In regards to manufacturers, they have been asked to ensure supplies are within the UK before the 31st of October in order to avoid being affected by the UK’s decision to leave the EU. At the moment Sanofi appears to be the only supplier to announce they won’t be able to deliver before the 31st, although they have a response contingency plan in place to fly in doses. As a precautionary, ministers have ordered an extra supply from an alternative manufacturer just in case.
‘We recognise it’s an extraordinary year, that’s why we’ve taken the steps we have’ is how the England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer reflected on the NHS' achievements over the past year and the current campaigns correlation. He also mentioned that there’s been a “robust” amount of planning going into this and he has confidence no issues will arise.
If you fall into the category to receive a free flu shot this winter, you can visit your local GP or pharmacy and they'll be able to provide you with it!