This winter, each COVID-19 and flu could flow into at excessive ranges, probably on the similar time.
Forward of what may very well be a troublesome season, hundreds of thousands of persons are being supplied vaccination to assist defend them over the approaching months.
There may be proof to point out that in case you get flu and COVID-19 on the similar time you might be at greater danger of changing into critically unwell. As that is the primary winter since COVID-19 emerged with out restrictions in place, the easiest way to guard your self from getting unwell from both is to get vaccinated.
We’re urging all eligible individuals to get vaccinated as quickly as attainable to spice up their safety in opposition to these viruses, which additionally helps to guard others and the NHS.
Why will we get vaccinated yearly for flu?
Yearly, the flu season is totally different. Totally different strains of flu flow into and the numbers of people that get flu fluctuate. This implies we want barely totally different vaccines every year.
To design the vaccine for every new season, scientists have a look at the success of the earlier yr’s vaccine, information from earlier flu seasons and surveillance from around the globe exhibiting which strains are making individuals sick.
All this info is used to resolve which strains go into the following vaccine, giving the most effective likelihood of a excessive stage of safety.
Flu is disagreeable for most individuals however it will possibly have severe penalties for some, significantly these with sure well being circumstances. It could trigger severe sickness and in some circumstances be life threatening.
There was document uptake of the flu jab in individuals aged 65 and over in 2021/22 (82%), although there was decrease uptake amongst individuals in medical danger teams and pregnant girls and these teams are significantly inspired to return ahead this yr.
Why is it significantly vital to get vaccinated for flu this winter?
Extra persons are anticipated to get unwell with flu this yr as much less pure immunity has been constructed up during the last couple of winters when flu was stopped from circulating extensively as a consequence of COVID-19 measures.
Additionally within the southern hemisphere nations akin to Australia skilled flu circulating sooner than traditional of their winter season.
Younger kids particularly are unlikely to have constructed up any pure immunity to flu, which is why it’s vital that they take the vaccine this yr. It’s being supplied to kids within the type of a fast and painless nasal spray.
Along with the anticipated flu wave, we now have early indication that COVID-19 charges are starting to rise forward of winter, growing the menace to individuals’s well being in a so-called ‘twindemic’ state of affairs.
Who’s eligible for the flu vaccine?
The annual flu vaccine is being supplied to:
- Individuals with long-term well being circumstances
- These aged 50 and over (ranging from mid-October)*
- Pregnant girls
- These in long-stay residential houses
- Unpaid carers (obtain a carer’s allowance or are the primary carer for an older or disabled one who could also be in danger if the carer will get sick)
- Shut contacts of immunosuppressed people
- Frontline well being and social care employees who can’t get the vaccine by an occupational well being scheme at work
- All kids aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2022
- All main college aged kids and a few secondary college aged kids
*If you happen to’re on this age group and have a long-term well being situation that places you in danger from flu, you do not need to attend till mid-October.
There are a number of forms of flu vaccine. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) critiques the newest proof on influenza vaccines yearly and recommends the kind of vaccine to be supplied to sufferers.
Really useful vaccines fluctuate in keeping with age. You’ll be supplied one that’s best for you. Youngsters aged 2 to 17 years outdated are supplied a fast and painless nasal spray vaccine.
Why do some individuals want a booster in opposition to COVID-19?
COVID-19 vaccination has been given incrementally following proof that whereas the vaccines are extremely efficient, immunity wanes over time.
Booster doses considerably improve immunity and in those that are most susceptible to the worst results of COVID-19, getting a booster will cut back the numbers of people that require hospitalisation or die.
We’re all conscious that COVID-19 could cause severe sickness and that it’s extra harmful in sure teams, such because the aged and people with suppressed immune programs.
Since instances usually rise throughout the winter months, it’s actually vital that each one these eligible get boosted to up their immunity ranges.
Who’s eligible for the COVID-19 booster?
The booster is being supplied to:
- Individuals aged 5 and over with long-term well being circumstances
- These aged 50 and over
- Pregnant girls
- These in long-stay residential care houses
- Unpaid carers
- Shut contacts of immunosuppressed people
- Frontline well being and social care professionals
In case you are in one among these teams, try to be supplied an appointment between September and December.
These at highest danger shall be referred to as first. It ought to be not less than three months after your final dose of COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccines on provide give a really excessive stage of safety in opposition to the virus and drastically cut back the probabilities of a person changing into critically unwell and requiring hospitalisation.
Most individuals will obtain the following technology mixture model of the booster vaccine, which features a half dose of the earlier vaccine mixed with a half dose in opposition to the Omicron variant.
For a really small variety of individuals one other vaccine product could also be suggested by their physician.
How do I get vaccinated?
Some people who find themselves eligible for each shall be supplied their flu and COVID-19 vaccines in a single appointment, however most individuals will get them individually.
These eligible for the flu vaccine can ebook an appointment with their GP or at a pharmacy which affords the vaccine on the NHS. You could obtain an invite to get the vaccine however you don’t want to attend for this to ebook your appointment. In case you are pregnant it is possible for you to to get the vaccine from some maternity providers or your GP.
Youngsters eligible for the flu vaccine will obtain the nasal spray. These eligible who haven’t but began main college will get the vaccine at their GP observe. For these kids in main college, they’ll obtain the vaccine at college as soon as dad and mom have signed and returned a consent kind.
The nationwide reserving service for COVID-19 vaccination is now open for autumn boosters. Individuals aged over 65, those that are immunosuppressed, people who find themselves pregnant and front-line well being and social care employees at the moment are in a position to ebook an appointment.
Everybody who’s eligible for the free flu vaccine will be capable to get it.
GP surgical procedures and pharmacies get the flu vaccine in batches all through the flu season. If you happen to can’t get an appointment immediately, ask in case you can ebook one for when extra vaccines can be found.
Go to nhs.uk/wintervaccinations for extra info on who’s eligible and the way to ebook.