2nd November 2021
Sandwell Council is encouraging all eligible people to get their flu jab in the run-up to winter.
The annual NHS flu vaccination programme is now underway across Sandwell with many GP practices and pharmacies offering the flu jab.
Those eligible, including people aged over 50, pregnant women, frontline health care staff and school age children, are all being offered the free vaccine in the run-up to winter.
People in long-stay residential care homes and carers are also eligible, as well as close contacts of anyone who is immunocompromised.
Clinics will be run at various practices and pharmacies over the next couple of months, and will be on an appointment-only basis.
In addition, letters, text messages and emails are being sent to parents and guardians across Sandwell, inviting them to book their child’s flu vaccine. Children will receive the vaccine through a nasal spray into each nostril. It is quick and painless, and is the best available protection against flu.
The COVID-19 booster programme will run alongside the flu programme, and many clinics across the area will be offering both doses at the same time, where possible, to those eligible for both types of vaccination.
Appointments for a COVID-19 booster dose can only be booked if you are eligible and it’s been at least six months since your second dose of the vaccine. This means that if you are already eligible for a flu jab you should have this as soon as you can and not put it off until your Covid booster is also due.
Dr Lisa McNally, Sandwell’s Director of Public Health said:
“Flu season will soon be here and we all need to do our bit to help the NHS by doing everything we can to stay healthy. Anyone who is eligible to get a flu jab should take the offer up once they are offered.
“I would also ask that employers encourage their employees to get the jab if eligible to help keep themselves and their businesses healthy throughout the winter.”
Councillor Suzanne Hartwell, Sandwell’s cabinet member for adults, social care and health said:
“Flu has been overshadowed in the last 18 months but that doesn’t mean it has gone away and for some people flu can cause real distress, hospitalisation and even worse, so when it’s offered, get your jab!”
Sally Roberts, Chief Nursing Officer for Black Country and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
“Due to the public health measures that were in place last year, there were lower levels of flu than there has been in previous years. That means our immunity levels to flu may be lower this year and more people are likely to catch it this winter. That’s why it’s really important that all those eligible for a flu jab come forward to help protect themselves and others from what can be a severe, and sometimes fatal, illness.”
You can find more flu health advice here.