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Protect yourself and others this winter with a free flu jab

Health bosses across Herefordshire and Worcestershire urge eligible residents to have their free flu jab this winter.

The flu vaccination programme has now started across the two counties and there has never been a more important time to make sure you, and those you care for, are protected against serious illnesses such as the flu.

This year the flu vaccine is being offered free on the NHS to:

  • Frontline health and social care workers
  • Adults aged over 50
  • Pregnant women
  • Children aged 2 – 16
  • People with long term health conditions
  • Carers and close contacts of immunocompromised individuals 

Dr Ian Tait, GP and Chair of NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG said: “It’s not too early to start thinking about how we will look after ourselves and our loved ones this winter.

“By having the flu vaccination, you will help to protect yourself and others from what can be a severe, and sometimes fatal, illness which could lead to hospital treatment. You will also be helping to protect the NHS from coming under increasing pressure this winter.

“If you are eligible for a flu vaccination your GP surgery will contact you, or you can visit a local community pharmacy which is carrying out vaccinations.” 

Dr Kathryn Cobain, Director of Public Health for Worcestershire said: “Vaccines are one of the best ways to protect ourselves from illness, which is why we are recommending anyone who is eligible for the flu vaccination to come forward and get it. 

“If you are working within health and care, we would particularly encourage you to get the vaccine to protect yourself and those you come into contact with.”  

Dr Rebecca Howell-Jones, Acting Director of Public Health for Herefordshire said: “Ahead of the 2021 to 2022 winter, the flu vaccination programme will be expanded to include all children of secondary school age as well as those of primary school age. 

“Vaccinating children against flu provides protection to individual children who receive the vaccine and reduces transmission of flu in the wider population. This is more important than ever due to the increased risk from flu and Covid-19 infections together. 

“In most cases the flu vaccination for children will be provided as a nasal spray and will be offered at school.”

Alongside this year’s flu vaccination programme is the Covid-19 booster campaign. Eligible individuals will be contacted by the National Booking System or their GP practice with care home residents and health and care staff being prioritised in the first instance. Booster jabs are effective for topping up protection for people who have had both of their Covid-19 jabs and it must be a minimum of six months after their second dose.