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Biggest flu programme in history rolled out across Sefton

GP surgeries and pharmacies across Sefton are starting to vaccinate thousands of people against flu, whilst ensuring that coronavirus social distancing measures are followed.

This year will be the most comprehensive flu programme in UK history, with more people eligible for the free NHS vaccine than ever. If you are eligible, please do not call your practice, your GP practice will be in touch to let you know the plans for you to get your vaccine.

Those eligible for a free flu vaccination this year are:

  • people who are on the shielded patient list and members of their household;
  • all school year groups up to and including Year 7;
  • people aged over 65;
  • pregnant women;
  • those with pre-existing conditions including at-risk under-2-year olds;
  • receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick.

Later this year, dependent on supply, people aged 50 to 64 will also be invited to get the flu vaccination. If you are in this age group, please wait for your invitation and do not call for an appointment.

Dr Craig Gillespie, chair of NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “With more people eligible for the flu vaccine and the need for social distancing and infection control measures staff have been working really hard to ensure that everyone will be as safe as possible while receiving their vaccination this year.”

“Don’t ignore the flu, it’s a potentially fatal illness and one that can spread very quickly. If you are eligible for a free flu vaccine and invited to have it, it is important that you take up that offer.”

Dr Rob Caudwell, chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “Flu should not be underestimated it is a serious illness and can even be deadly for the most vulnerable of our population.

“The flu vaccination is the best defense we have against the virus. It is vital that those eligible have the vaccine every year as it protects against different strains of flu which can change and evolve each year.”

Margaret Jones, director of public health for Sefton, said: “Having the vaccine is the single best way to protect against flu and will be an important step in preventing not only you, but your family, friends, and colleagues from getting the virus.

“As well as getting the vaccine, practicing good hand hygiene by catching coughs and sneezes in a tissue, throwing it away and washing your hands after can really help limit its spread – catch it, bin it, kill it.”

For more information or to check your eligibility for the flu vaccine, visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/