Flu jab will be freely available to more than 35 million people this winter

flu jab
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Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid has announced that over 35 million people will have access to a free flu jab this winter

As part of the biggest flu programme in history, more than 35 million people will have access to a free flu jab during the 2021/22 winter season, which starts in September.

The programme follows last years record of 19 million people receiving their vaccine.

The vaccine will be available to:

  • All children aged 2 and 3 on 31st August 2021
  • All children in primary school and Years 7 to 11 in secondary school
  • Those aged six months to under 50 years in clinical risk groups
  • Pregnant women
  • Those aged 50 years and over
  • Unpaid carers
  • Close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
  • Frontline health and adult social care staff

The nasal spray vaccine is offered to 2 and 3-year-olds, children in primary school and Year 7 and for the first time will be available to secondary school-aged children up to Year 11.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, said:

“Flu can be a serious illness and we want to build a wall of protection by immunising a record number of people.

“With the nation getting closer to normal life, we must learn to live with COVID-19 alongside other viruses and we’re offering the free flu jab to millions more people to help keep them safe this winter.

“The phenomenal scale of the COVID-19 vaccination programme is a clear demonstration of the positive impact vaccination can make and I encourage all those eligible to get their flu jab when called forward.”

Dr Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England, said:

“The flu vaccine is safe, effective and protects millions of people each year from what can be a devastating illness.

“Last winter, flu activity was extremely low, but this is no reason for complacency as it means less people have built up a defence against the virus. Combined with the likelihood that COVID-19 will still be circulating, this makes the coming flu season highly unpredictable.

“We will be preparing for a challenging winter by expanding our world-leading flu vaccination programme to over 35 million people, saving more lives and limiting the impact on the NHS and social care.”

Dr Nikita Kanani, NHS medical director for primary care, said:

“NHS staff across England vaccinated record numbers of people against flu last year – a potentially fatal illness – and they continue to pull out all the stops to deliver the biggest and most successful NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme in health history, protecting their patients and communities.

“Getting your free flu vaccine if you are eligible as well as keeping up good habits like regularly washing your hands could help save your life, so please do come forward when you are invited to give you and your loved ones vital protection this winter.”


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