People living in North Yorkshire and York who are eligible for a free flu vaccination at their GP surgery are being asked to be patient if they haven’t yet got an appointment.
NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Vale of York CCG say there is a high demand for the flu jab and supplies of the vaccine are being prioritised by GP practices based on clinical need.
Dr Andrew Lee, Executive Director of Primary Care and Population Health for NHS Vale of York CCG, said: “It is fantastic to see patients so enthusiastically seeking flu vaccinations ahead of the winter and at a time where there are additional health risks associated with Covid-19 (coronavirus).
“We are prioritising the highest risk patient groups first, but across York and North Yorkshire we fully intend to reach all eligible patients who want to have the free vaccination.
“Further vaccine supplies will be coming soon to resupply practices and all patients who are eligible for the free vaccination will be contacted by their practice in due course, if they have not already been contacted.”
North Yorkshire CCG Governing Body GP, Dr Bruce Willoughby, said: “It’s possible for people to catch flu and coronavirus at the same time, with serious consequences. It’s why this year, more than ever, it’s vital we administer flu vaccines to as many people as possible, in particular those people in ‘at risk’ groups.”
At risk and priority groups include: residents in care homes and other long-stay care facilities, people aged 65 and over, pregnant women, front-line health and social care workers, carers and assistants to those people with a Personal Health Budget, those living in a household with people who have shielded and any people in a clinical risk group (aged from six months to less than 65).
Flu vaccination is important because:
- if you’re at higher risk from coronavirus, you’re also more at risk of problems from flu
- if you get flu and coronavirus at the same time, research shows you’re more likely to be seriously ill
- it’ll help to reduce pressure on the NHS and social care staff who may be dealing with coronavirus
If you’ve had Covid-19, it’s safe to have the flu vaccine. It’ll be effective at helping to prevent flu.
If you are in an ‘at risk’ group and have not yet got an appointment, your GP practice will contact you when further supplies are available.
For more information about at risk groups and what counts as a clinical ‘at risk group’ go to: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/who-should-have-flu-vaccine/