A patient getting an injection vaccination. Photo credit: CDC from Pexels
Second COVID-19 Wave Prevention: All secondary school children in England to get a free flu vaccination
In a campaign to avoid overwhelming the NHS England and escape the terrifying situation of a deadly flu season together with a resurgence of a second and third COVID-19 wave, all first-year secondary (high) school children in England will get a free flu vaccination this autumn.
Flu vaccination is already offered to all children aged two and three, and all primary (elementary) school children, but now will be extended to those in the first year of secondary school education in order to protect the older and more vulnerable people in their families.
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Matt Hancock, the U.K. Health Department Secretary said that Boris Johnson, the U.K. Prime Minister, in a critical mission to pull out all the stops and prepare for winter, has already announced £3 billion to protect the NHS.
Chris Whitty, England’s Chief Medical Officer stressed that the U.K. government needed to mitigate any health risks this winter more than ever, with COVID-19 still circulating and hinted that vaccinating more people would help reduce flu transmission and stop people becoming ill.
The biggest issue the government is likely to face will be ensuring the injections go to those who need them most.
The U.K. government also wants to give priority to those aged 65 and over, pregnant women, healthcare and social care staff, people with underlying health conditions and anyone living in the household of somebody on the COVID-19 shielding list and would not want fit and healthy above 50 to rush and get vaccinated until they are sure that there is decent participation amongst the targeted group and those with underlying health conditions, who are likely to do worse if they contract either disease.
The U.K. government health officials expect anyone eligible for a free vaccine, whether it’s for the first time or because you usually receive one, to get the injection, not just to protect himself or herself, but to protect the NHS and your loved ones from flu.
Reliable government sources say the UK government has secured sufficient supplies of the latest flu vaccine in contracts for 30 million doses of flu vaccine which doubles the number that was administered last year, even though many other countries will also have been buying up stocks.
None of the vaccines will be delivered until September and the vaccination will go on throughout the autumn and even into late December if necessary.