As our national response to COVID-19 continues, 30 million people will be asked to get vaccinated against the flu this year.
In England, the largest ever flu vaccination campaign is being launched, with all those eligible for the jab playing their part in saving lives.
Those able to receive the vaccine will be all primary school children as well as Year 7s for the first time; two- and three-year-olds; the most vulnerable people including adults aged 65 and over, those with long-term health conditions and pregnant women; and 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.
After uptake has been maximised for the most at-risk groups, invites will extend to 50- to 64-year-olds later in the season, eligible for the first time in recognition of the scale of the healthcare challenges posed by the pandemic.
With research from Public Health England suggesting that those testing positive for both flu and COVID-19 were more than twice as likely to die compared to people with COVID-19 alone, the importance of getting your flu jab cannot be underestimated.
Those with co-infection of both viruses are also more at risk of severe illness. I urge everyone in the eligible groups to get the flu jab this winter.
Henry Smith MP