The Lord Mayor of Leeds has urged residents across the city to check if they are eligible for a free flu jab this winter.
The flu vaccine is available for more people than ever this year, with many adults, most children, and all pregnant women now eligible for a free vaccination from the NHS. With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it is more important than ever that everyone eligible for a free jab takes up the offer.
This is due to more people being likely to catch flu this winter as less people than normal have developed natural immunity during the last 18 months, there is also research pointing towards the fact that if you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time you are more likely to be seriously ill.
For more information on eligibility and where you can receive the flu vaccine this year please visit nhs.uk/wintervaccinations.
The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Asghar Khan, after receiving his vaccination said:
“I am really grateful that I have been able to receive my free flu jab from the NHS ahead of this winter and I would urge anyone across Leeds who is eligible to do the same. It is important that as a city we come together this winter to look out for each other and getting the flu jab if you are eligible is an important part of that.”
Leeds City Council’s chief officer for Health Protection, Dawn Bailey, said:
“For most healthy people, flu symptoms can make you feel exhausted and unwell, and you have to stay at home and rest until you get better, but for people with underlying health conditions, people with learning disabilities, pregnant women or the elderly flu can be very serious.
“It’s really important that if you are eligible for a free flu vaccine you take up the offer. It is offered to these vulnerable groups of people because we know that they need it to stay well during the flu season. This year with covid-19 still circulating, it is more important than ever that people take up the offer of a flu vaccination to protect from infection of the flu virus, it will also help to reduce pressure on the NHS and social care staff who may be dealing with covid-19 and flu.”
The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to people who:
- are 50 and over (including those who’ll be 50 by 31 March 2022)
- have certain health conditions
- are pregnant
- are in long-stay residential care
- receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
- live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
- frontline health or social care workers
- are children aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2021 – born between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2019
- are in primary school (reception to year 6)
- are in year 7 to year 11 children in secondary school
- are children aged 2 to 17 years with long-term health conditions
If you are eligible for a free flu vaccination your GP will contact you to arrange an appointment.