Get vaccinated: MPs back government flu jab programme

Sep 26, 2020

Milton Keynes MPs Iain Stewart (left) and Ben Everitt.

MPs Iain Stewart and Ben Everitt have called on the public to take part in the government’s largest ever flu vaccination programme this winter.

The drive to vaccines comes as new research from Public Health England suggests that people who tested positive for both flu and Covid-19 were more than twice as likely to die, compared to those with Covid-19 alone. 

The research also found that those with co-infection of the two viruses were more at risk of severe illness.

This year, the flu vaccination programme is being expanded to help protect people from flu and ease pressure on the NHS and urgent care services. The health system is working to provide the free flu vaccine to 30 million people, the highest number on record, including:

  • All primary school children, and, for the first time, Year 7 children;
  • Two- and three-olds;
  • The most vulnerable people, including adults aged 65 and over, those with long-term health conditions and pregnancy women;
  • Household contact of people on the NHS Shielded Patient List and all health and social care workers who have direct contact with the people they care for.

Once uptake has been maximised in the most at-risk groups, the newly eligible 50-64-year olds will be invited for vaccination later in the season.

Mr Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South, 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 who is eligible to get vaccinated, which could make an important difference if they should also catch coronavirus in the months ahead.”

Ben Everitt, who represents Milton Keynes North, said: “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.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock added: “This year more than ever, it is vital that those eligible for the flu jab get it this winter so you can protect yourself, your family and the NHS. We are 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 have ever done before.

“With the simultaneous risk of flu and COVID-19, make sure you get your flu jab if you are eligible, do not gather in groups larger than six and remember ‘Hands Face Space’ so we can look after each other.”

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