Important information regarding this year’s flu vaccination and how it will be delivered
This year it's more important than ever to get your flu jab. Flu brings misery to people who are in otherwise good health but for the elderly, the very young, and particularly those with some long-term health conditions, it can be much more dangerous.
That's why GP surgeries across Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead; Surrey Heath, Bracknell and North East Hampshire and Farnham are contacting people within those groups to arrange for them to have the free flu jab.
In light of Covid-19 and social distancing rules in place, the way in which GP practices are offering the vaccination may be different than previous years to ensure the safety of both patients and staff.
Some practices have grouped together to offer a drive-through service, whilst others will continue to see patients at their practice with pre-booked appointments. Pre-booked flu clinics are also set to take place in the community, such as community halls, schools and other key venues, with home visits available for our most vulnerable.
If you are eligible for the vaccine, you will be contacted by your GP practice over the coming weeks. They will explain how you will be able to get the flu vaccination. You can also visit your practice website for more details.
Jo Greengrass, Associate Director of Nursing, Quality & Safety and Chair of the Frimley Collaborative Flu Group said: "This year, more than ever, it is really important that you get the flu jab to help us help you stay well this winter. This is particularly important for those in at risk groups as flu can cause severe complications. Flu spreads from person to person, even amongst those not showing any symptoms. Whilst the threat may be invisible, the protection against it is clear."
She added: "We are working with local practices and Primary Care Networks to ensure that plans are in place to protect the vulnerable, prevent ill-health and minimise further impact on the NHS and social care services. As we all know, winter is naturally a very busy time for the NHS."
Dr Lalitha Iyer, local GP and Executive Medical Director for Frimley Collaborative said: "The number of people eligible to receive the flu vaccine on the NHS this year has increased and practices are working on new ways to ensure that people can be safely vaccinated. It is extremely important that we do all we can to protect ourselves from flu and stay well this winter. I would encourage each and every one of you who is eligible to have the vaccine which is being rolled out in various stages for different cohorts, with those in at risk groups taking primacy. Please keep an eye on your GP practice website."
The list of those eligible for the vaccination free on the NHS for 2020/21 has expanded to include the following:
- Household contacts of those on the NHS Shielded Patient List. Specifically individuals who expect to share living accommodation with a shielded person on most days over the winter and therefore for whom continuing close contact is unavoidable
- Children of school Year 7 age in secondary schools (those aged 11 on 31 August 2020)
- Health and social care workers employed through Direct Payment (personal budgets) and/or Personal Health Budgets, such as Personal Assistants, to deliver domiciliary care to patients and service users
The government has also announced that flu vaccinations may be available towards the end of the year to people aged between 50-64. However, this will be subject to vaccine supply and priority will be given to those in at-risk groups first.
Click here for a full list of all those eligible.
In addition to GP practices, pharmacies and midwives will also be able to give the flu vaccine this year.