ENGLAND– People aged 50-64 will be able to get a free flu jab from 1 December under an expanded winter vaccine scheme, according to reports, to fight the “twin threats of flu and Covid-19”.
The group is being added to a list of people who are already eligible for a flu jab in England, such as those over 65 and health workers, as BBC wrote.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who describe the winter as “like no other”, said “we have to worry about the twin threats of flu and Covid-19,” adding the coronavirus pandemic meant it was “more important than ever” that people got their flu jabs.
Hancock told BBC Breakfast all over 50s would be able to get a flu jab by January, explaining the December roll-out would mean the over-65s could get the vaccine first as the “top priority”, the report said.
While the world is on a race to produce the vaccine that can eradicate coronavirus, Hancock hoped there would be a program of Covid-19 vaccinations after recent “good news” from the Oxford, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine trials.
“The big numbers in terms of the Covid vaccination – if it comes off and we don’t have one yet – are likely to be in the new year, so until then the flu vaccination will be the big numbers in terms of what the NHS is doing.”
A big flu season combined with coronavirus could overwhelm hospitals – especially if many NHS or care-home staff are off sick with flu, BBC wrote.