People across the county are being urged to have their flu and covid booster vaccinations ahead of the first winter where covid and flu circulate fully at the same time. Research shows those infected with both viruses are more than twice as likely to die as someone with covid alone.
Experts are predicting that there could be a significant flu surge this winter coinciding with continuing or rising covid cases. This is due to colder weather which favours transmission, darker nights which mean increased social contact indoors where it is less well ventilated and expected lower immunity to flu due to lower levels in circulation last winter.
More than 28,000 COVID-19 booster vaccinations have been given in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin so far. People who are eligible, including all health and care staff, care home residents, people at risk, carers and people over the age of 50, will be invited by their GP or by the NHS as six months elapses (or 182 days) after their second vaccine (i.e., on 20 October anyone who had their vaccine prior to the 21 April 2021).
Everyone who is more than 182 days after their second dose is encouraged to either visit a local walk-in clinic or book via the National Booking Service, you do not need to wait to receive a letter, text or email. Alternatively, people can wait to be contacted by your GP or primary care network to receive your booster. Frontline health and social care workers can book their booster via their organisations internal booking process or via the National Booking Service through self-referral. The same eligibility checks and ID requirement remain are in place as with the first and second vaccinations.
In Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin we are seeing a good demand for flu vaccinations and, whilst there has been some disruption to supply, overall we have good flu vaccine availability across the county.
This year, people who are eligible for the flu vaccination include those aged 50 plus, two and three-year olds, school children up to year 11, pregnant women, health and care staff, people who are at risk and households of immunosuppressed people. Anyone eligible can get their jab through their GP, by going to a community pharmacist, your midwife if you are pregnant or at a hospital appointment.
To date, over 90% of adults aged 18 and over in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin have had at least one Covid-19 vaccination, whilst 86% have had both doses.
- To check your eligibility for the flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster vaccine or to find a service visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/
- To find a local walk-in or pop-up vaccination site: COVID-19 Vaccination Walk-in and Pop-up Clinics (stwics.org.uk)
For further information on the Covid-19 booster and flu vaccinations, please visit: Covid-19 booster vaccine and flu vaccine – Your questions answered (stwics.org.uk)