The potential for co-circulation of COVID-19 at the same time will make this year’s flu vaccination programme even more vital. Alongside extending the programme it’s important that those in the existing eligible groups including those aged over 65 years, pregnant women and people with medical conditions are vaccinated first. Increasing uptake in health and social care workers will also be a key priority this season.
Subject to confirmation by the UK Government, that additional vaccine supply will be available, those who will additionally be included in this year’s flu programme include:
- households of people in the shielded group
- lowering the eligibility age from 65 to over 50 year olds – who will be vaccinated in a phased approach
The NHS will get in contact with those who are eligible.
Additional supplies of the nasal spray flu vaccine offered to children will be used to maximise uptake in the vaccination programme offered to 2 and 3 year olds, and to all children in primary schools.
The Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething said,
This winter more than ever we need to protect the most vulnerable in our community and continue to protect our NHS.
By extending the flu vaccine to more people than ever before we can help prevent people becoming ill and reduce pressure on the NHS this winter. I would urge anyone who is eligible to have the vaccine.
The Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Frank Atherton, said:
Everyone who is eligible for a NHS flu vaccine should be confident about having it to protect themselves and those around them this winter. Those already eligible, which include some of the most vulnerable in our community will receive the vaccination first and via a phased approach our programme will be rolled out further to the over 50’s and households of those shielding.