Health Secretary urges eligible Torbay residents to get flu vaccine

Health Secretary Matt Hancock

Health Secretary Matt Hancock - Credit: Archant

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has urged all those people in Torbay who are eligible for the flu jab to get one this winter, as the Government launches its drive to vaccinate 30 million people.

The drive comes as new research from Public Health England suggests that people who tested positive for both flu and Covid-19 were more than twice as likely to die, compared to those with Covid-19 alone.

The research also found that those with co-infection of the two viruses were more at risk of severe illness.

This year, the flu vaccination programme is being expanded to help protect people from flu and ease pressure on the NHS and urgent care services.

The health system is working to provide the free flu vaccine to 30 million people, the highest number on record, including:

• all primary school children and, for the first time, Year 7 children

• two and three year olds

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• the most vulnerable people, including adults aged 65 and over, those with long-term health conditions and pregnant women

• household contacts of people on the NHS Shielded Patient List and all health and social care workers who have direct contact with the people they care for.

Once uptake has been maximised in the most at-risk groups, the newly-eligible 50-to-64 year olds will be invited for vaccination later in the season.

The Health Secretary said: “This year, more than ever, it’s vital that those eligible for the flu jab get it this winter so you can protect yourself, your family and the NHS.

“We’re pulling out all the stops to prepare for this uniquely challenging winter and we have enough vaccines for 30 million people this year – more than we’ve ever done before.

“With the simultaneous risk of flu and Covid-19, make sure you get your flu jab if you’re eligible, don’t gather in groups larger than six and remember ‘Hands Face Space’ so we can look after each other.”