With 30 million people set to be offered vaccinations this year in the biggest flu programme to date, Black Country and West Birmingham GPs are urging residents to check if they are eligible for a free jab.
Free flu vaccinations will be offered to all people who are on the NHS shielded patients list, as well as every person who lives with them. It will also be rolled out for the first time to all Year 7 pupils and “at-risk” under-twos.
This is in addition to the free flu jab that is available every year for pregnant women, children aged two to three, over-65s, primary school children, people with long term health conditions and front line health or social care workers.
People in all these groups, or their carers, are encouraged to get in touch with their GP or community pharmacist to find out when their free jab will be available and save their spot in a flu clinic.
Dr Ian Sykes, a local GP, said: “Flu is a very serious illness that kills thousands of people every year, and this year it’s more important than ever that everyone who’s eligible for a free jab takes up the offer.
“The vaccination programme is being extended to give many more people the chance to play their part in protecting themselves, their loved ones, and the most vulnerable people in society, against the harmful effects of flu.
“Your local GP has put lots of extra measures in place to keep you safe while getting your jab, so if you receive an invitation to a flu clinic please get in touch with your practice right away. The earlier you get vaccinated, the sooner you’ll be protected.”
The jab is also available by appointment from your local pharmacy, with vaccine stocks being prioritised for people who are at most risk from flu.
For more information, visit the NHS Choices website.