The Government has recommended that “record numbers” of people should receive the flu vaccination this winter to limit the severity of the coronavirus.
The announcement comes after a major study found that the risk of death more than doubled for people who tested positive for both flu and COVID-19, compared to those with COVID-19 alone.
Published by Public Health England (PHE), the research also discovered that those with co-infection of the two viruses were more at risk of severe illness, while the majority of cases of co-infection were in older people.
The flu itself is already a deadly illness, killing an average of 11,000 people in England and hospitalising many more each year.
To protect those from the “double threat” this winter, the Government has now recommended that the flu vaccination programme should be extended to all primary school children, as well as Year 7 children, two-to-three-year-olds and those aged between 50 and 64.
As per usual, vulnerable people, including those over the age of 65 and those on the NHS shielding list, will also be included in the nationwide vaccination programme.
“The flu vaccine is more important than ever, to help reduce transmission of flu and protect the nation from the double threat of flu and COVID-19. You may be offered it for the first time this year – it is important that you take up the offer to protect yourself and others.”
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor, Jonathan Van-Tam, added: “Flu can be deadly and it is easily spread in children and adults. The vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from becoming ill with the flu, especially if you are in a vulnerable group.
At the Harrow Health Care Centre, we have again reviewed the variety of flu vaccines that are available this year and have chosen the adjuvanted vaccine for everyone over 18 which is slightly more expensive, but we feel is likely to offer the best protection.
The way the adjuvanted vaccine is prepared means that it also boosts the immune response. This is important because people over 65 years old naturally don’t respond as well to vaccines. Over-75s, in particular, are likely to get better protection from the adjuvanted form.
All our flu vaccines will be protective against 4 strains of flu virus including for those over 65 years (as opposed to the 3 strain (trivalent) vaccine offered on the NHS for over 65s). Nasal flu remains the best choice for children over 2.
To find out more about flu vaccinations or to book your vaccination today, please get in touch with our expert team here.