Get the flu jab, bab

Eligible groups urged to get vaccinated.

Flu jab season is upon us, and the NHS Birmingham & Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group is calling on everyone who is eligible to take up their free flu vaccination this season.

This year, the pandemic has turned all of our worlds upside down, but with your help we can make sure that this winter people don’t put themselves or their loved ones at unnecessary risk. During lockdown we clapped for our carers; now our NHS heroes need our help again to make sure there’s no further strain on our much needed services over flu season. We can help ease pressure by making sure that everyone who needs one gets a free flu vaccination.

With uncertainty around how Covid-19 will affect us over the coming months, getting the flu jab could actually help save a life – Public Health England found that people who became infected with Covid-19 and the flu and the same time were twice as likely to die. For most the flu is a minor setback, but for many at-risk groups it could cause much more complex health problems.

Glynn Purnell, chef and restaurateur at Birmingham’s Purnell’s restaurant said: “Our NHS is a huge source of pride for our country, and they are doing everything they can to make sure that those who need it most are protected from the flu this season. It’s time to do our bit. So if you have been contacted by your GP and are eligible to receive the free flu jab, please do make sure you are taking this offer up and getting vaccinated – you could be saving a life. We are 100% behind the NHS’s flu vaccination programme this winter.”

This year, getting the flu vaccination is more important than ever, so if you or someone you care for qualifies for a free vaccination then now is the time. The at risk groups that qualify for a free flu vaccination include:
 all children aged two to eleven (due to the risk of carrying and passing onto parents and grandparents)
 those in clinical risk groups (e.g. those with respiratory or neurological conditions and people with a learning disability)
 pregnant women
 people aged fifty years and over
 those in long-stay residential care homes
 carers
 close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
 frontline health and social care workers

If you’re not sure whether you or someone you care for qualifies, eligible patients will be invited to attend an appointment by their local GP practice. However, the NHS Birmingham & Solihull CCG is urging people to please not just turn up; if you are due a vaccination you will be contacted.