This winter, each COVID-19 and flu might flow into at excessive ranges, probably on the identical time.
Forward of what may very well be a tough season, hundreds of thousands of persons are being supplied vaccination to assist defend them over the approaching months.
There may be proof to indicate that if you happen to get flu and COVID-19 on the identical time you’re at increased danger of changing into severely unwell. As that is the primary winter since COVID-19 emerged with out restrictions in place, one of the simplest ways to guard your self from getting unwell from both is to get vaccinated.
We’re urging all eligible folks to get vaccinated as quickly as potential to spice up their safety in opposition to these viruses, which additionally helps to guard others and the NHS.
Why can 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 range. This implies we’d like barely totally different vaccines every year.
To design the vaccine for every new season, scientists take a look at the success of the earlier 12 months’s vaccine, knowledge from earlier flu seasons and surveillance from all over the world displaying which strains are making folks sick.
All this data is used to resolve which strains go into the subsequent vaccine, giving the most effective probability of a excessive degree of safety.
Flu is disagreeable for most individuals however it could possibly have critical penalties for some, notably these with sure well being situations. It could trigger critical sickness and in some circumstances be life threatening.
There was report uptake of the flu jab in folks aged 65 and over in 2021/22 (82%), although there was decrease uptake amongst folks in scientific danger teams and pregnant ladies and these teams are notably inspired to return ahead this 12 months.
Why is it notably essential to get vaccinated for flu this winter?
Extra persons are anticipated to get unwell with flu this 12 months as much less pure immunity has been constructed up over the past couple of winters when flu was stopped from circulating extensively as a result of COVID-19 measures.
Additionally within the southern hemisphere nations corresponding to Australia skilled flu circulating sooner than ordinary of their winter season.
Younger youngsters specifically are unlikely to have constructed up any pure immunity to flu, which is why it’s essential that they take the vaccine this 12 months. It’s being supplied to youngsters within the type of a fast and painless nasal spray.
Along with the anticipated flu wave, we’ve early indication that COVID-19 charges are starting to rise forward of winter, growing the menace to folks’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:
- Folks with long-term well being situations
- These aged 50 and over (ranging from mid-October)*
- Pregnant ladies
- 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 staff who can’t get the vaccine by an occupational well being scheme at work
- All youngsters aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2022
- All main faculty aged youngsters and a few secondary faculty aged youngsters
*When you’re on this age group and have a long-term well being situation that places you in danger from flu, you shouldn’t have to attend till mid-October.
There are a number of kinds of flu vaccine. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) critiques the most recent proof on influenza vaccines yearly and recommends the kind of vaccine to be supplied to sufferers.
Beneficial vaccines range based on age. You can be supplied one that’s handiest for you. Youngsters aged 2 to 17 years previous are supplied a fast and painless nasal spray vaccine.
Why do some folks 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 enhance immunity and in those that are most weak to the worst results of COVID-19, getting a booster will scale back the numbers of people that require hospitalisation or die.
We’re all conscious that COVID-19 may cause critical sickness and that it’s extra harmful in sure teams, such because the aged and people with suppressed immune techniques.
Since circumstances usually rise throughout the winter months, it’s actually essential that every one these eligible get boosted to up their immunity ranges.
Who’s eligible for the COVID-19 booster?
The booster is being supplied to:
- Folks aged 5 and over with long-term well being situations
- These aged 50 and over
- Pregnant ladies
- These in long-stay residential care houses
- Unpaid carers
- Shut contacts of immunosuppressed people
- Frontline well being and social care professionals
If you’re in one among these teams, try to be supplied an appointment between September and December.
These at highest danger can be referred to as first. It must be no less than three months after your final dose of COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccines on provide give a really excessive degree of safety in opposition to the virus and drastically scale back the probabilities of a person changing into severely unwell and requiring hospitalisation.
Most individuals will obtain the subsequent era 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 folks one other vaccine product could also be suggested by their physician.
How do I get vaccinated?
Some people who find themselves eligible for each can 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 e book an appointment with their GP or at a pharmacy which affords the vaccine on the NHS. Chances are you’ll obtain an invite to get the vaccine however you don’t want to attend for this to e book your appointment. If you’re 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 faculty will get the vaccine at their GP observe. For these youngsters in main faculty, they’ll obtain the vaccine at college as soon as dad and mom have signed and returned a consent type.
The nationwide reserving service for COVID-19 vaccination is now open for autumn boosters. Folks aged over 65, those that are immunosuppressed, people who find themselves pregnant and front-line well being and social care staff at the moment are in a position to e book an appointment.
Everybody who’s eligible for the free flu vaccine will be capable of get it.
GP surgical procedures and pharmacies get the flu vaccine in batches all through the flu season. When you can’t get an appointment immediately, ask if you happen to can e book one for when extra vaccines can be found.
Go to nhs.uk/wintervaccinations for extra data on who’s eligible and e book.