Carshalton and Wallington MP Elliot Colburn today urged constituents eligible for a free flu jab to get one, as part of the Government’s expanded flu vaccination campaign, which aims to vaccine 30 million people.
The largest ever flu drive is designed to take pressure off the NHS and urgent care services, which are expected to be badly hit over the winter with the combination of flu and Covid-19.
The vaccine push comes as new Public Health England research indicates that people testing positive for both the flu and Covid-19 are more than twice as likely to die as those who only have Covid-19 and more at risk for severe illness.
Mr Colburn wants everyone in his constituency to take advantage of the expanded eligibility.
He said: “As we approach the winter, it is imperative that everyone who needs a flu vaccination takes up the offer to have one.
“I urge everyone in Carshalton and Wallington who is eligible to get vaccinated, which could make an important difference if they should also catch coronavirus in the months ahead.
“Controlling the spread of coronavirus and protecting the NHS is on all of us – we must all wash out hands, cover our faces and make space – as well as taking sensible steps like getting a flu jab.”
The expansion of the flu vaccination programme means that it now includes all primary school and Year 7 children, as well as two and three year-olds, everyone over the age of 50, people with long-term health conditions, pregnant women.
People on the NHS shielding list, as well as people in their households, and all health and social care workers who have direct contact with people they care for are also included.
The Conservative MP’s statement comes hot on the heels of news that drive-through jabs will be available at IKEA and Crystal Palace FC in Croydon.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock added: “This year more than ever, it’s vital that those eligible for the flu jab get it this winter so you can protect yourself, your family and the NHS.
“We’re pulling out all the stops to prepare for this uniquely challenging winter and we have enough vaccines for 30 million people this year, more than we’ve ever done before.
“With the simultaneous risk of flu and COVID-19, make sure you get your flu jab if you’re eligible, don’t gather in groups larger than 6 and remember ‘Hands Face Space’ so we can look after each other.”