Each year, the NHS runs its annual winter flu vaccine programme, urging people from a range of groups to take up the opportunity to protect themselves against seasonal flu. At Hodgson Pharmacy in Longfield Dartford, we’re proud to be involved in the UK’s winter flu vaccine efforts.
This year, getting your winter flu vaccine is more vital than ever before. With the combined threat of COVID-19 and flu, we need to do all we can to protect the NHS as it battles through what will undoubtedly be a tough season. If you are looking to stay healthy this season you can find tips in our latest blog post here.
You can find out more about how to stay healthy this season here:
Why is flu a bigger threat this year?
There are a wide range of factors to consider when evaluating the potential individual and societal impacts of flu. Here are just a few reasons why flu is a greater threat this winter than in previous years, and how getting your winter flu vaccine can help.
We’re less immune. In the UK we spent the best part of 2020 in lockdown. Even when we were allowed out to socialise, strict social distancing measures were still in place. As a result, flu circulation last winter was low, meaning many of us didn’t get the chance to build natural immunity. This, alongside colder weather and increased indoor social contact could lead to a surge in flu cases in winter 2021. Getting vaccinated will help boost immunity within the population, in turn reducing the spread of flu.
How can getting the vaccine help?
The NHS is busy. As the NHS continues to battle with high rates of COVID-19, resources are naturally stretched. A surge in hospitalisations from flu cases will only put additional pressure on the NHS. If more people get the vaccination, fewer of us will need to go to hospital for flu treatment. Not only will the vaccine help prevent you from becoming seriously ill yourself, but it will also make you much less likely to transmit the virus to someone else who is clinically vulnerable.
COVID-19 and flu combined is more dangerous. Research has shown that if you catch COVID-19 and flu at the same time, you’re more likely to become seriously ill. By getting the vaccination against both COVID-19 and flu, you’re doing the best thing you can to prevent yourself and others around you from catching either infection.
Who can get the winter flu vaccine?
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just the elderly who can benefit from free flu vaccination.
If you fall into any one of these groups, you might be eligible for the winter flu vaccine:
- You’re over the age of 50
- You have a health condition
- If you’re pregnant
- If you live in residential care
- You care for someone who is clinically at risk
- If you live with someone who is at a higher risk of infection
- You’re a frontline health or social care worker
Where can I get more Information?
If you’re a Longfield, Dartford resident and would like to book your winter flu vaccine or find out more, pop into Hodgson Pharmacy or give us a call. Our expert pharmacists will be happy to help you decide if the flu vaccine is right for you.
Contact us to book your vaccine today!