GP surgeries and pharmacies in Sefton have been working tirelessly to vaccinate thousands of residents as part of the biggest flu programme in UK history.
Those eligible for a free flu vaccination this year are:
- Those who are 50 and over (including those who’ll be 50 by 31 March 2021)
- people who have certain health conditions
- pregnant women
- people who are in long-stay residential care
- those who receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
- people who are on the clinically extremely vulnerable patient list and members of their household
- frontline health and social care workers
- children aged 2 – 3 years on 31 August 2020
- all primary school and year 7 children
- children ages 2 to 17 years with long-term health conditions
If you are eligible, please do not call your practice. Your GP practice will be in touch to let you know the plans for you to get your vaccine.
If you have been invited to get the free flu vaccine and have not booked your appointment yet, it is not too late.
Dr Craig Gillespie, chair of NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Flu is a potentially fatal illness and one that can spread very quickly. If you are eligible for a free flu vaccine, it is important that you take up that offer.
“Please be assured that changes have been made to make sure that it is safe for you to have the flu vaccine at GP surgeries and pharmacies. These changes include social distancing, hand washing and wearing protection equipment.”
Dr Rob Caudwell, chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “Flu should not be underestimated. It is a serious illness and can be deadly for those who are vulnerable. The flu vaccination is the best defence we have against the virus.
“If you’re at higher risk from coronavirus (COVID-19), you’re also more at risk of problems from flu; and if you get flu and coronavirus at the same time, research shows you’re more likely to be seriously ill. Therefore, getting the flu vaccine is really important to keep you safe and to reduce pressure on the NHS and social care staff who are already dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.”
Margaret Jones, Director of Public Health for Sefton, said: “Having the vaccine is the single best way to protect against flu. It not only helps to keep you safe from the virus, but your loved ones and colleagues too.
“Good hand hygiene is also important in stopping the spread of flu. Catch any coughs and sneezes in a tissue, throw it away and wash your hands – make sure to catch it, kill it and bin it.”
For more information or to check whether your eligible for a free vaccine, visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/