Vulnerable Northamptonshire residents urged to take up their free flu vaccine ahead of a predicted Twindemic
24 October 2022
People in Northamptonshire who are most vulnerable to flu are being urged to protect themselves and their families this winter by having the flu vaccination ahead of a predicted ‘twindemic’ of flu with COVID-19.
Flu is a highly contagious viral infection that anyone can catch, and it can be very serious for some. It is most common over the winter period. However, people are now returning to pre-COVID-19 pandemic normal with less immunity to influenza due to lack of coming into contact with recent flu infection.
Getting the flu jab or nasal spray is one of the most effective ways to reduce potential harm from the seasonal flu virus and protect your immune system.
The vaccination is offered for free to those at increased risk from the effects of flu. This includes:
- Two and three year olds
- Children from reception class to year nine
- People aged 50 to 64 years not in a clinical group
- People aged 65 and over
- Those aged six months to under 65 years in clinical at risk group
- Pregnant women
- Household contacts of immunocompromised
- Front-line health and social care workers and care workers
Dr Annapurna Sen, Health Protection Consultant for Public Health in North and West Northamptonshire says:
“Preparing for potential winter illnesses is important for everyone, but especially those at higher risk of getting flu. The flu vaccine is updated every year to combat the latest strains of the virus, so even if you had the jab last year, you will still need to get another.
“This year is predicted to be a particularly bad year for flu, judging by the flu season in Australia. The Southern Hemisphere is used every year as a predictor as to what the likely pattern and flu variants will be. It’s been reported that Australia experienced the most severe flu season in five-years. The typical Australian flu season occurs from June to October, however this year it started in April and was coupled with an increase in COVID-19 cases.
"With this knowledge its more important than ever to have the flu vaccine. It will protect your immune system and give you one less thing to worry about this winter. If you’re eligible and haven’t yet had your vaccination book an appointment with your GP practice or local pharmacy today, or have a conversation with your midwife or doctor.”
It’s important that young children get protected too as this not only helps to stop them from getting the virus, it also prevents the spread of flu to those more vulnerable. For most children the flu vaccine will be given in the form of a nasal spray, administered by a health professional.
People who are not eligible for the free NHS flu vaccination, are still strongly recommended to have a flu jab as the virus can be serious for anyone who catches it. Vaccinations are available for a small charge at many community pharmacies.
Visit NHS Stay well for more information on how to help you and your family to stay well this winter.