From 1 December, the flu vaccination programme will be extended to 50–64-year olds, and NHS Lincolnshire CCG is reminding people in this group to book in for their vaccination at either their GP practice or their local community pharmacy.
Part of the expanded flu vaccination programme this winter, people aged 50-64 will be able to get the flu vaccination free, which will help reduce the risk of catching flu, as well as spreading it to others, and it’s worth bearing in mind that it is more effective to get the vaccine now before the start of the flu season (December to March).
“Having initially focused on the other eligible groups of people, we are really pleased to now be in a position to roll out the flu vaccination to 50-64-year olds,” comments Rebecca Neno, Deputy Chief Nurse, NHS Lincolnshire CCG. “Flu can cause severe illness and even death amongst vulnerable groups, as well as complications like bronchitis and pneumonia, so it’s important to book in for the flu vaccination.”
Having previously focused on getting other groups vaccinated – including people aged 65 or over, pregnant women, people with certain medical conditions, those living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay facility, people in receipt of a carer’s allowance/those who are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person, and people living with someone at risk of coronavirus – getting a flu vaccination is even more important this year given the Covid-19 pandemic.
“If you are 50-64 or in one of the groups we previously focused on, haven’t had your flu vaccination and after 1 December haven’t heard from your GP practice, please contact it by telephone to make an appointment. Bear in mind that all GP practices are open, but it is important that, if you haven’t already heard from them, you phone first rather than just turn up without an appointment. Similarly, you will need to book in first with your community pharmacy if you decide to go there for your flu vaccination,” adds Rebecca.
In addition to 50-64-year olds and the other groups listed above, the flu vaccine is also available for children:
- Over the age of 6 months with a long-term health condition;
- Aged 2 and 3 years on 31 August 2020 (i.e. born between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2018);
- In primary school;
- Children in year 7 (secondary school)
This year’s flu vaccination programme is the most comprehensive one ever in UK history and the flu vaccine will be offered to 30 million people in England this year. By getting vaccinated people can do their bit to help the NHS as it continues to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. Remember, the flu vaccination is free (from your GP practice or pharmacist) for eligible people because you need it.