As autumn approaches in the coming months, now is the time to start thinking about getting the annual flu jab. This year, the free jab will be offered to more people amidst concerns around the still-present coronavirus.
The NHS flu programme in England typically offers the flu vaccine to those over the age of 65, pregnant women and those with existing health conditions or weakened immune systems. These groups will remain a high priority this year, while the programme will also be extended to reach out to more people.
In a typical winter, flu is one of the biggest health concerns for many older and vulnerable people.
With the additional threat of coronavirus this year, the public are being advised to take extra care to avoid both of these diseases. The government hopes for as many people as possible to receive the flu jab to reduce the risk of caregivers and healthcare workers coming under immense pressure.
We will be holding our Flu Clinics over the next few months. Due to the current COVID-19 situation they will operate in a slightly different way to previous years to protect our patients and staff
We plan to run our initial clinics on three dates – 10th October/17th October 2020.
To allow us to adhere to social distancing measures we have dedicated appointment times, and we ask that you DO NOT arrive early for your appointment (if you are early we ask that you remain in your car until your appointment time). We also ask that you attend the appointment alone, unless you need help from a carer/family member. You will be asked to queue up outside the practice until there is a clinician free to see you (please attend dressed for the Manchester weather). You will have your temperature taken prior to admittance to the practice and if this is high you will not be able to enter the practice or have your vaccination, you will be asked to go home, isolate and request a coronavirus test as per government guidance. When you enter the practice we will ask you not to touch anything and to stand for your vaccination if possible (please wear loose fitting clothing so the clinician can access the top of your arm). You will then be directed to exit the practice through a side door which will lead you back to the car park.
The first clinic, to be held on the morning of the 10th October will be for our clinically vulnerable patients who have been shielding from coronavirus. These patients will be amongst the first to be contacted by us , unfortunately we do not have vaccine supplies to vaccinate household contacts at this first clinic and they will need to book into the clinic on the 17th October. This is so we can prioritise the members of our community who are the most vulnerable.
These clinics will by invitation only.If you are on our shielding list, you will receive a telephone call/letter/SMS text message to advise you to book an appointment at the clinic on 10th October 2020.
This year the flu vaccine is being offer on the NHS to:
- Adults 65 and over
- People with [certain medical conditions|https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/who-should-have-flu-vaccine/](including children in at-risk groups from 6 months)
- Pregnant women
- People living with someone who’s at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
- Children aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2020
- Children in Primary School
- Children in Year 7 (secondary school)
- Frontline health or social care workers
Flu Jabs for patients aged 50 – 64
Clinics for the new 2020 cohort of eligible patients aged 50-64, who do nothave an ‘at risk condition’ (see [NHS UK|https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/who-should-have-flu-vaccine/]) will follow soon. These dates and times will be announced on our website.
External websites for further information
- Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England – [National Flu Immunisation Programme 2020 – 2021- www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Letter_AnnualFlu_2020-21_20200805
- NHS UK
- Flu vaccine overview
- Flu vaccine FAQs
- Vaccination tips for parents