Today, the Health Secretary has announced the most comprehensive flu programme in UK history will be rolled out this winter to protect the UK’s most vulnerable residents and the NHS.
Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, has welcomed the news that this expansion will see more than 30 million people vaccinated this winter, from those on the shielding list to school children.
Across Gosport, Stubbington, Hill Head and Lee-on-the-Solent, the vaccine will now be available for:
- Residents who have been shielding and their households
- All school children up to Year 7
- Those over the age of 75
- Pregnant women
- Those with pre-existing medical conditions
Work is underway also with clinicians to decide whether to open the vaccine up to people aged 50-64.
Flu has similar symptoms to COVID-19 – including a high temperature and cough – and is prevalent during the Winter months. The expansion of the vaccine programme to there to help relieve winter pressure on the NHS and emergency care, and protect the NHS from a potential second wave.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:
“It’s mission critical that we pull out all the stops to get ready for winter, and the Prime Minister has already announced £3 billion to protect the NHS.
“We are now taking another important step to help protect the wider public by giving the flu vaccination to more people than ever before. This will be the biggest flu vaccination programme in history, and will help protect our NHS as we head into winter.
“If you are eligible for a free vaccine, whether it’s for the first time or because you usually receive one, then I would urge you to get it, not just to protect yourself, but to protect the NHS and your loved ones, from flu.”
Last week, the Prime Minister announced an extra £3 billion to fund the NHS, help it prepare for the winter months and ensure that if there is a second wave, routine treatments and procedures can continue. He also announced that Nightingale hospitals will remain open until the end of March to ensure that hospitals have the capacity to treat patients if there is a spike in cases.
All frontline workers will be able to access their free flu vaccine as normal.
“This is great news for our most vulnerable residents in the constituency. It’s also important for people like me, who live with a manageable condition, like asthma, to protect ourselves.
“I know that many constituents have concerns about a second wave, and the impact that this will have on our community, not least if it’s also a bad winter for flu. I am pleased to see that preparations are underway to protect the population.”