Julie Webster, Wirral’s Director of Public Health, has said that this will be the second winter we will see flu and COVID-19 in our communities at the same time and that it is really important to get your flu vaccination.
This is because:
- more people are likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the COVID-19 pandemic
- if you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time, you may become very ill
- getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 will provide protection for you and those around you for both these illnesses
The flu vaccine is given free by the NHS to people who:
- are 50 and over (including those who’ll be 50 by 31 March 2022)
- have certain health conditions
- are pregnant
- are in long-stay residential care
- receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick – unpaid carers are eligible too
- live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
- frontline health or social care workers
You can have the NHS flu vaccine at your GP surgery, a pharmacy offering the service, your midwifery service if you’re pregnant or a hospital appointment. You may have already been contacted but if you’re not yet booked your appointment, speak to your GP or pharmacist. For more information, visit: wirralccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services/help-us-help-you/
Some people may be eligible for both the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 booster vaccine. If you are offered both vaccines, or if you still haven’t had your first two COVID-19 jabs, it’s safe to have them at the same time.
Remember, good handwashing is a really easy yet effective way to prevent the spread of flu (and Coronavirus!) and, while face masks may not be mandatory, they can help you and others from spreading colds and viruses this winter.
Image credit: Andrea Piacquadio