News from our partners: Health leaders urge pregnant women and children aged 2 and 3 to get their vaccines as flu cases rise
News from our partners NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin
Health and care leaders across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin are urging pregnant women and children aged 2 and 3 to come forward and get their flu vaccine to help protect themselves and the NHS, as flu cases rise.
Data published by NHS England on 6 January 2023 shows that flu infection and hospital admission rates have remained high over Christmas and the New Year, while in the Midlands, 3.7 million flu vaccines have been delivered.
Chief Nursing Officer, Alison Bussey, said:-
“Despite our best efforts to deliver as many flu vaccinations to the residents of Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, we are still seeing a high number of flu admissions to our hospitals. Therefore, it remains vital that anyone eligible, including pregnant women and children aged two and three, who are yet to have their flu jab, book in as soon as possible.”
England’s top doctor is also calling for eligible groups to get vaccinated, saying it’s not too late to get a vaccine, with over 375,000 vaccine appointments available next week.
NHS national medical director, Professor Sir Stephen Powis, said:-
“We knew this winter would be one of the most difficult in the history of the NHS, and I want to thank staff for all their hard work in caring for and treating so many patients while dealing with record demand on services, including the enormous pressure from flu and COVID-19.
“The plans we announced last autumn will help ensure we are in the best place possible to provide care for patients at this incredibly challenging time, with extra call handlers in place, community services established to help keep people out of hospital where possible and we’re also continuing to make good progress to put the equivalent of 7,000 extra beds in place by March 2023.
“It remains vital that people make the most of services like 111 online and as ever, only use 999 in an emergency, and it’s also crucial that those who are eligible come forward for flu and COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible.”
Flu is caused by the influenza virus which can be a very unpleasant illness for children. It can also lead to serious problems, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Children can catch and spread flu very easily and vaccinating them also protects others who are vulnerable to flu. For more information on the children’s flu vaccine and where you can book your child’s appointment, visit here.
For pregnant women, the flu jab will protect both mother and baby. Evidence shows women have higher chances of developing complications if they get flu, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy. For more information on the flu jab in pregnancy visit here.
Visit here to find a full list of pharmacies that are offering a free NHS flu vaccination. Alternatively, contact your midwife or GP surgery to find out where you can get a flu vaccine.
Please call 119 if you need help. For more information on the flu vaccination visit www.nhs.uk/wintervaccinations.