People aged 50 to 64 in England will be offered a free flu jab from the start of next month in an attempt to fight the “twin threats” of flu and COVID-19.
The group has been added to a list of people who are already eligible for a flu vaccine in England, and means that around 30 million people are now being offered the vaccine in what is expected to be the country’s largest flu-immunisation programme to date.
The UK government confirms has been secured amid high global demand for more flu vaccine, and now means vaccines can be provided to this group over December and into the New Year.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was a winter “like no other”.
Announcing the vaccine plan, Mr Hancock continued: “We have to worry about the twin threats of flu and COVID-19. COVID means getting a flu jab is more important than ever this year,
“So we are delivering the largest ever flu vaccination programme.”
Jo Churchill – Minister at Public Health England – added: “To prepare for this challenging winter, we committed to protect as many people as possible from the flu, to keep those at risk safe and reduce the strain on our NHS [so] I am pleased we are now able to deliver on that commitment with those aged 50 to 64 invited to get their free flu vaccine from the start of December.
“These vaccinations are already being given to our existing priority groups and that vital work will continue.
“More vaccine is flowing into GPs and pharmacies throughout the next few months, and I would urge anyone eligible for their flu vaccine to get one including all health and social care workers.”
Who is now eligible for a free flu vaccine?
• Adults aged 65 or over
• Pregnant women
• Those with certain pre-existing conditions
• NHS and social care workers
• All children up to year 7
• Household contacts of those who are clinically extremely vulnerable
• Adults aged 50 to 64gov.uk
It must be noted that the roll-out of the flu vaccine to over 50s is separate to any future COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, and members of the public will be able to receive the flu and COVID-19 vaccinations in parallel as the NHS is well-equipped to administer both.
Further details on the COVID-19 vaccination deployment plan is expected to follow.
You can find more information about the free flu vaccine roll-out to people aged 50-64 in England from 1st December 2020 via the gov.uk website here.
More information regarding the flu vaccine can be found via the NHS website.