Amid the coronavirus pandemic, residents most at risk are being urged to ensure that they protect themselves from the flu with this year’s vaccine.
Free vaccines are being rolled out, with those most vulnerable being invited to attend a clinic first, as the winter months grow closer and seasonal flu hits communities.
As a result of coronavirus, it is more vital than ever that people take the vaccine to protect their lives and of those around them.
Everyone who is invited by their GP to have the flu jab is urged to have the vaccine to help protect everyone from the illness – especially those in groups most at risk.
Categories for NHS free vaccination
The free flu vaccine offered under the NHS is available to people in the following categories:
- People aged 65 and over
- Those certain medical conditions (including children who are in at-risk groups from age 6 months)
- Pregnant people
- People who live with someone at high risk from coronavirus (from NHS shielded patient list)
- Children aged 2 and 3 on August 31st 2020
- Primary school children
- Year 7 children
- Frontline health and social care workers
In a change to previous years, people aged 50 to 64 who are not in at-risk categories, are likely to be included later in the year. However those in this age bracket who are in at-risk categories, like those with underlying health problems, should not delay in getting their vaccine.
People who are not in one of the above categories can pay for their vaccine at a pharmacy.
“Seriously ill if they catch flu”
Rachel Partridge, Assistant Director of Public Health Dorset said:
“Certain groups of residents are offered a free flu jab each year due to being at increased risk of becoming seriously ill if they catch flu.
“If you identify as one of the priority groups, then please speak with your GP or pharmacist about getting your free vaccine.
“Around 11,000 people a year die from flu and thousands more are hospitalised. Flu is very serious. The best way to keep yourself and the ones you love protected from getting flu, is by getting a flu vaccine.”
Swanage Medical Practice
Swanage Medical Practice has started its vaccine programme for 2020, and has already started sending out letters to those who are most at risk if they were to get the flu.
Patients are being asked to wait until they receive a letter from the doctor and then to contact the surgery at the appropriate time to book their flu jab. The letter will explain the new procedure which is more regimented than in previous years due to COVID-19.
Swanage Medical Practice on its social media feed said:
“Strict rules yes, but necessary so that we can carefully manage the use of the vaccines we’ve been allocated by the government in phased deliveries for specific age groups, and ensure that there are not too many patients in the building at the same time.
“Do not arrive early for your appointment. Wear a mask.
“We’ve been very humbled by how you’ve all coped with our ‘New Normal’ and thank you again for your continued support during this important vaccination programme.”
The flu vaccine is also available at pharmacies in Swanage
Boots Swanage – at time of writing, Boots told Swanage.News that they are out of stock of flu vaccines, but are aiming to be offering them again in the near future. Phone: 01929 422096
Day Lewis Pharmacy – the pharmacy is offering walk in services for flu vaccines at the moment, or people can phone to book. Phone: 01929 422115
Well Swanage Pharmacy – flu vaccines are available, and people can phone to book their appointment. Phone: 01929 424838
Anyone attending any clinic should follow government coronavirus safety and social distancing measures.