AGE UK Solihull is urging older people to get their flu and Covid booster jabs.
The charity says adults at high risk from flu are often most at risk of becoming very ill with Covid-19 too, and both can be serious illnesses.
Each year on average 11,000 people in England die of flu, and in 2017/18 Public Health England estimated that the figure reached a staggering 22,000 deaths, the highest death toll in recent years.
Age UK’s latest nationally representative sample survey of 1,598 people aged 60+ in the UK shows that the intention among older people to have both the flu and covid booster vaccinations is positive with:
· 78 per cent of adults aged 60+ intending to get the flu vaccination this winter.
· 80 per cent of older adults aged 60+ believing the Covid booster vaccination will give them greater protection against Covid-19.
Last winter in Solihull, 83.3 per cent of people aged 65 and over had the flu vaccination, exceeding the World Health Organisation’s recommended target of 75 per cent, and uptake for the first and second dose for the Covid-19 vaccine for over 70s is currently at 95.4 per cent.
Everyone aged 50+ is eligible for a free flu vaccine and Covid-19 booster vaccination this winter.
Lucy Garratt, director of services for Age UK Solihull, said: “Our advice to older people is please do take up the offer of a Covid booster and a flu jab when it comes your way.
“You’ll be doing yourself a lot of good and helping to protect everyone else you come into contact with too. “
Age UK says:
1.The flu is worse than a heavy cold – it . While some people will get the flu and recover others will get complications caused by flu and become seriously ill and have to go to hospital.
2. The flu vaccine does not give you flu – it is impossible to get the flu from the adult vaccination as it doesn’t contain the live virus.
3. Vaccination side effects are likely to be mild – risk of a serious side effect from having winter vaccines is very low.
4. There are more places to get vaccines now than ever before
5. You can get the flu or Covid-19 vaccine if you aren’t feeling your best.
6. The flu and Covid-19 vaccines are different and protect against different illnesses.
7. For the most protection from Covid-19 this winter’s Covid-19 booster vaccine is important.