Flu rates have been low for the last two years since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic due to social distancing, lockdowns and wearing masks in public places. This has been the case globally until earlier this year when the flu season hit the southern hemisphere early, and they had a very bad season of it.
For most healthy people the flu is not very nice, but they usually recover within a week or so. However, there are certain groups of people where catching the flu can be more problematic. Those groups include:
• Older people (Aged 65 and over)
• Very young children
• Pregnant women (including those women who become pregnant during the influenza season)
• Those with chronic health conditions such as respiratory disease or heart problems
• Those who are immunosuppressed
All of the above groups are eligible for a free flu vaccine through their GP surgery and will be contacted when it is their turn to receive it.
The list of eligible people will be extended for the flu season 2022-2023 to include:
- all children aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2022
- all primary school-aged children (from Reception to Year 6)
- secondary school-aged children (focusing on Years 7, 8 and 9 following the primary school vaccination visits with any remaining vaccine being offered to Years 10 and 11, subject to vaccine availability later in the season)
- those aged 6 months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups
- those aged 50 to 64 years old not in clinical risk groups (including those who turn 50 by 31 March 2023). (Providers are asked not to start vaccinating this age group until mid-October 2022 to enable prioritisation of those with clinical risks and in the older age groups)
- those living in long-stay residential care homes or other long-stay care facilities
- close contact with immunocompromised individuals
- frontline staff employed by social care providers without employer-led occupational health schemes
Most high street pharmacies now offer the flu vaccine for a small charge to anyone that would like to have it, very often employers offer it to staff in the workplace.
So, what are the benefits of having the flu vaccine if you don’t fall into any of the above categories?
- No vaccine is 100%, but if you do get the flu it will be a milder illness if you are vaccinated
- By preventing you from getting it, you are less likely to pass it on to those people in your life who are more vulnerable such as the ones in the group listed above.
- After two years of disruption with Covid-19 not catching the flu will reduce the likelihood of you requiring time off work.
For further information about who is eligible on the NHS see https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/
If you would like to have flu vaccines administered in your workplace, then please get in touch on 02380 475000 or email us at email@example.com