12 September 2018

New Flu Jab to 'Save Lives' this Winter

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winter is coming

Yesterday in the news, it was reported by the BBC that vaccines are a 'national emergency.' Public Health England have responded, claiming a revised flu jab is set to save hundreds of lives this winter. The new vaccine will be offered to the over-65s in Wales and Northern Ireland and over-75s in Scotland, as the elderly are among the most vulnerable to the virus. 

Every year, flu dumps a health burden on the population, in the workplace and on the NHS. The vaccine, which is available for the first time this year in the UK, aims to reduce GP consultations by 30,000, hospitalisations by over 2,000 and prevent over 700 hospital deaths from flu in England. 

What are the new developments?

The over-65s vaccine will protect against three strains of flu and will be offered to 'at risk' groups. 

At-risk groups include pregnant women and those with chronic conditions.

In total, 24 million people in England will be offered the flu vaccine - an additional 3 million compared to last winter.

Public Health Minister Steve Brine said: "Our free vaccination programme is world-leading and we constantly review the latest evidence - that's why from next season we are prioritising new and existing vaccines we know offer the best protection."

According to Carers Trust, if you care for an older or disabled person who would be at risk if you were ill you may be able to get a free NHS jab. You can also get one if you get Carer's Allowance. This is to ensure you are protected against catching flu and developing serious complications. Contact your GP for more information.

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Sources:

Public Health England

BBC News