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Seasonal flu vaccinations will help boost immunity this winter

Fri, 24 Sep 2021


Island residents are being encouraged to protect themselves from serious illness this winter by boosting their immunity with a seasonal flu jab and a COVID-19 booster vaccination.

Flu vaccinations are to be rolled out from this month to eligible adults and children via community pharmacies, GP surgeries, schools and the Chester Street vaccination hub – with many of those eligible for a COVID-19 booster being offered both vaccinations at the same appointment.

This year’s flu vaccination programme is being extended to include secondary school children in years 7 to 11 in addition to primary school children, and to all adults from the age of 50. Other groups eligible for a flu vaccination are: 

  •  those with pre-existing medical conditions, such as heart or respiratory diseases
  •  pregnant women
  •  residents of nursing and care homes
  •  main carers of an older or disabled person
  •  those who are immunosuppressed
  •  close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
  •  frontline health and social care workers

The Island’s Head of Health Protection Jacqui Dunn said: ‘The flu vaccine is safe, effective and protects millions of people each year from what can be a devastating illness. Last winter, flu activity was really low, but this is no reason for complacency as it means fewer people have built up a defence against the virus. COVID-19 will also still be with us and this makes the coming flu season highly unpredictable.

She added: ‘By lowering the number of serious flu infections in our community we can also reduce the risk of developing other serious respiratory illnesses. Flu is highly infectious and although healthy people usually recover within seven days, for some the disease can lead to a stay in hospital, disability or even death.

People aged between 50 and 69 and those in the vulnerable groups are encouraged to consider receiving their flu jab at a participating community pharmacy. GP practices offering flu jabs will write to their patients aged 70 and over and those with serious underlying conditions, inviting them to book a jab at the surgery, and they may be able to have their COVID-19 booster at the same time.

In addition, GPs will be visiting care and residential homes for older adults to give flu vaccinations in the coming weeks.

This year, children and young people in primary school and secondary school up to year 11 will be given their nasal flu vaccination in school. Parents and carers have been notified about arrangements including being asked to complete consent forms for their child.

 


 

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