Health leaders issue a ‘Please be patient’ message to people aged 50-64 years waiting for their flu vaccination
Eligibility for a free flu vaccination is to be extended to people aged 50-64 years at their GP practice or community pharmacy from December.
This is a new eligible group that has been added to the national flu programme, with the initial phase of flu vaccinations well underway.
Practices will be able to access vaccine stock from the Government’s central supply for this newly eligible group.
Patients are being asked to wait to hear from their GP surgeries about a vaccine appointment, as they will need time to plan and order the vaccinations.
Julian Povey, Joint Chair of Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups, said:
“GP practices and pharmacists are currently prioritising the most vulnerable groups for flu vaccination first and we have seen a good uptake of the flu vaccinations for eligible patient in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin across the programme so far.
Having this new 50-64-year-old cohort provides us with an opportunity to protect even more of our population at a time when there are additional health risks associated with COVID-19.
Everyone in this new cohort of patients will be contacted by their practice for a free flu vaccine and you can also contact your local pharmacy for a flu vaccine.”
Martin Lunt of Shropshire Local Pharmacy Committee (LPC) said:
“Free flu vaccinations for eligible groups will also be available from your local pharmacy, and this will include the new 50-64-year age group.
We are pleased that people are coming forward for their vaccination, as it offers the very best protection from the harms of flu. Preventing flu is always important, but this year with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s even more vital.
There has been very successful access to the service this year provided by local pharmacies during these unprecedented times. The focus is now on providing an equally successful programme for the 50-65 age group.
An appointment for a vaccine is not always necessary; however, members of the public are encouraged to call the individual pharmacy for more information, and you will then be advised of the best time to attend.”
The flu vaccination is being offered to people aged 50 to 64 this year because this is the age that hospitalisations from COVID-19 start to increase. It is important that this group do not get flu as well.
The flu vaccination is available from GP practices and pharmacies. For more information about the flu vaccine and COVID-19 please visit: nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/who-should-have-flu-vaccine/