People over the age of 50 will be able to get a free NHS flu vaccine from Tuesday 1 December.
Those aged 50-64 can visit their GP or pharmacy to get their vaccine, following the extension of the flu vaccination programme to include this significant age group.
Flu can be a serious illness and is very different to the common cold. It is life threatening for people who are in an at-risk group and each year up to 17,000 people die as a result of contracting flu.
With uncertainty around how COVID will affect us over the coming months, getting the flu jab could help save a life – Public Health England found that people who became infected with COVID and the flu at the same time were twice as likely to die.
Councillor Karen Grinsell, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, said:
“This year, with COVID in circulation, it’s more important than ever that as many people as possible get the flu jab to protect others and support the NHS.
“I encourage everyone in this age group to book an appointment as soon as they can. Although I fall under this age category, Now vaccines are available I’ll be getting mine, and I’ll certainly be telling all my friends and family who fit the bill to get theirs!
“Please also don’t put off getting the flu vaccine if you’re waiting to get the COVID vaccine – they are two completely different vaccines for two completely different viruses.
John Davenport, GP for Solihull, said:
“All people in the at risks categories under 64 can still get their free flu jabs. This includes pregnant women and of course 2 and 3 year old children. Those who work in care homes, and in domiciliary care in people’s homes, are also eligible for free jabs this year to protect themselves and the people they care for.”
Watch Cllr Grinsell launch the flu vaccine campaign here.
More information and advice about the flu vaccine is available on the NHS website. For anyone not sure about whether they or someone they care for qualifies, eligible patients will be invited to attend an appointment by their local GP practice. Since flu vaccinations are in demand, residents may want to check their GP practice website for further details on accessing flu vaccination appointments.