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5th Jul, 2022

Free flu jab "couldn't be more important" for those at risk this winter, says Solihull and Birmingham's NHS chief

Editorial Correspondent 20th Oct, 2020 Updated: 20th Oct, 2020

GETTING the flu jab if you are at-risk this winter “couldn’t be more important,” says Solihull and Birmingham’s chief medical officer.

All Solihull residents eligible for a free flu jab are being urged to book an appointment as soon as they are invited to this autumn. GP practices in Birmingham and Solihull will be contacting eligible individuals throughout October and November.

Appointments may take place at their usual practice, a neighbouring practice or a mobile unit. Residents are advised not to turn up opportunistically to GP practices or mobile units, as it is an appointment-only system – not a walk-in facility.

Dr Richard Mendelsohn, the CCG’s Chief Medical Officer and a local GP said: “This year due to Covid-19, getting the flu jab if you are at-risk couldn’t be more important.

“Receiving your flu vaccination will help increase your chances of being protected from the flu and can lessen the symptoms if you do contract it.

“I know some patients sometimes feel anxious about getting their flu jab, but the entire process is incredibly quick and easy.”

“The flu can be particularly severe for people in at-risk groups, and I urge everyone who is invited for a free flu jab to make an appointment to help protect you, those around you and your local NHS.”

The local NHS in Birmingham and Solihull has warned that because of Covid-19, this year’s flu vaccination programme is of particular importance and one of the most effective ways to protect yourself and your loved ones, particularly as Public Health England (PHE) research has revealed that people who became infected with both Covid-19 and the flu at the same time were twice as likely to die.

Those considered most at risk include children aged two to 11 (due to the risk of carrying and passing onto parents and grandparents)

·         those in clinical risk groups (e.g. those with respiratory or neurological conditions and people with a learning disability)

·         pregnant women

·         people aged 65 years and over

·         those in long-stay residential care homes

·         carers

·         close contacts of immunocompromised individuals

·         frontline health and social care workers

For those who are healthy, the flu can be unpleasant, but it will usually clear up on its own in about a week or so.

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