News from our partners: Flu jab invitations on their way, say health leaders
News from our partners NHS Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and Telford and Wrekin CCG
Flu vaccination invitations are on their way by post, text message or phone call, say health bosses at Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).
GP practices across the county are now rolling out their vaccination programmes and Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin residents are encouraged to book their flu jabs to protect both themselves and their families.
Patients are also reminded that they do not need to contact their GP practice directly as surgeries are currently letting people know how and when to book an appointment.
This will be done by post, text message or phone call with those most in need of the vaccination prioritised first.
Flu clinics may also be delivered differently to previous years as some practices are working together to ensure maximum efficiency. As a result, they may be asking patients to go to a different practice for their jabs.
Practices may also be using marquees, school halls or drive-through facilities to ensure infection, prevention and control measures, as well as social distancing guidelines, are upheld.
Details of your practices’ arrangements will be shared with you when you book your flu vaccination appointment.
The flu vaccine is offered at GP practices and local pharmacies. Patients are encouraged to take up the offer of a free flu vaccine when contacted by their GP practice.
If a patient does not plan to attend their session, or has had the vaccine elsewhere, they should decline their appointment at their GP practice so that others can take their place.
Those eligible for the free flu vaccination are as follows:
- children aged 2 and 3 on 31 August, 2020
- children in primary school
- children in year 7 (secondary school)
- adults 65 and over
- people with certain medical conditions (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months of age)
- pregnant women
- people living with someone who is at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
- frontline health or social care workers
Children in primary school and in year 7 of secondary school will be able to access the free flu vaccine through the schools programme and not at a GP practice.
For people aged between 50 and 64 that do not have underlying health conditions, the vaccination will not be available until November and December of this year, providing there is a sufficient amount of vaccine left.
No appointments will be offered for this age group until then as this ensures those patients most at risk are vaccinated first.
If you are between 50 and 64 and you fall into another group eligible for the flu vaccination, for example; you have a health condition which puts you at risk from the flu, you will be invited earlier.
Dr Julian Povey, Joint Chair of Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin CCGs, said:
“Every year the flu hospitalises and kills thousands but the flu vaccine is the most effective way to protect yourself, your friends and your family from catching the flu.
“We are encouraging all of those eligible to look out for their flu jab invitation and not to contact GP practices directly, as people will be invited for their vaccinations depending on their clinical need. Those most at risk will get their jabs first.”
The symptoms of flu are fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle and body aches, headaches, tiredness and some may experience vomiting and diarrhoea.
For more flu advice please click here for further information.