It is especially important for Halton people in ‘high risk’ groups to access their free flu vaccine.

The flu vaccine, free to high risk patients, is more important than ever to help protect people from the twin issues of flu and COVID-19 this winter.

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

Halton residents aged 50 to 64
 are now eligible to receive a free flu vaccine as a high risk group, to help keep them healthy this flu season.

Other high risk groups include:
• Adults with long term health conditions
• Pregnant women
• Household contacts of people on the NHS shielded patient list
• Children aged 2 and 3
• Health and social care workers who have direct contact with the people they care for

Halton Borough Council’s  Executive Board Member for Health and Wellbeoing, Cllr Marie Wright said “It is more important than ever that Halton residents who are at high risk of flu take advantage of the free flu jab to protect themselves this winter.

“This year the programme has been expanded to ensure as many people as possible: are protected from the harmful effects of flu. We especially encourage residents over the age of 50 to take advantage of the free flu vaccine.”

Dr Andrew Davies, Clinical Chief Officer for NHS Halton Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group said: “The free flu vaccine is the very best protection for you from the harms of flu.

“Flu can develop into a serious illness that requires hospitalisation, which also adds to the current pressures we are experiencing in the NHS and social care due to coronavirus.

“If you are aged 50 to 64 and have not yet had your flu vaccine, please take up the offer as soon as possible by contacting your GP practice or local pharmacy.”

Services in Halton are now set up to deliver the coronavirus vaccination in line with the national priority list, starting with those most at risk first. People who are eligible will be contacted in the coming weeks and it is recommended that there should be a gap of at least a week between getting the flu vaccine and COVID vaccine.

For more information about the flu vaccine, visit nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine

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