Boots is suspending booking flu shots due to "unprecedented demand" after the British were urged to get vaccinated to ease exposure to the second wave of Covid-19
- The high street chemist is now restricting vaccines to the most vulnerable people in society
- NHS plans to vaccinate a record 30 million people against flu this year
- An influx of influenza and Covid-19 patients could overwhelm hospitals
Boots has suspended flu vaccination bookings due to "unprecedented" demand for vaccinations this winter.
The high street chemist is now restricting vaccines to the most vulnerable people in society, including those over 65 and people with serious health problems.
NHS England has been actively encouraging people to get a flu shot this year to prevent influenza and Covid-19 patients from overwhelming hospitals.
Usually anyone can sign up to be shot by a Boots pharmacist, but this year the chain had to prioritize the most vulnerable groups to make sure they came first.
The elderly and people with comorbidities are most likely to be hospitalized if they catch the flu. As such, they are most likely a drag on the NHS as it grapples with a second wave of coronavirus.
NHS England says it has enough stock to deliver a record dose of over 30 million cans during the winter.
Boots has discontinued its flu vaccination booking system due to an unprecedented demand for vaccinations this winter
NHS England has been actively encouraging people to get a flu shot this year to prevent influenza and Covid-19 patients from overwhelming hospitals
WHO IS ALREADY ELIGIBLE FOR A FREE FLU VACCINE?
In 2020/21, the groups eligible for the NHS-funded flu vaccination program are currently the same as they were last year.
- Over 65s and people with diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma;
- People with severe heart or kidney disease, or people who are having cancer treatment;
- Parents with children over six months of age with asthma or diabetes, or weakened immunity due to illness or treatment;
- Other groups include long-term care home residents and people who have decreased immunity or are taking steroid medications from HIV.
- NHS staff are also encouraged to get a free flu shot to keep patients safe.
However, according to a joint letter from DHSC, Public Health England, and NHS England and Improvement dated May 14, the list may change if the program expands this year.
This could include:
- All children aged two to 10 years (but not 11 years or older);
- People aged six months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups;
- Close contacts with immunocompromised people;
- Health and social workers employed in a registered nursing home;
The letter added, "We believe that concerns about COVID-19 may increase demand for flu vaccinations across all groups this year."
In a statement, Boots said: “This year, more than ever, our customers have become more aware of protecting the health of themselves and their families, and protecting against the flu has been a key concern for many of us.
"As a result, we've seen more people than ever booking early to get their flu shots."
A spokesman for the Ministry of Health and Welfare said: "Flu vaccinations will be phased out through fall through winter, and those most at risk are rightly prioritized while others are asked to wait later in the year . & # 39;
This year, the flu vaccination will be offered to those over 50 for the first time in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland it is given to people over 55 years of age.
However, these groups are only given access to the vulnerable groups, which include those over 65, pregnant women, and people with conditions like lung disease or diabetes.
Last winter, 25 million people in England were offered the flu vaccination and officials expanded the annual vaccination program to include all sixth grade children for the first time.
All over 65s, pregnant women, NHS workers and people with serious long-term illnesses such as heart disease and Parkinson's are also eligible for the free prick.
Figures show that there are around 10 million people between the ages of 50 and 65 in the UK, which means the vaccination program had to be increased by 40 percent to catch everyone.
The supply of the flu vaccine is a logistical challenge for the NHS as the vaccine must be stored in the refrigerator at 2 ° C to 8 ° C. A slight increase or decrease in temperature can ruin the shot and render it unusable.
But NHS England has reassured people that there is sufficient stock. Health bosses say they will provide guidance on how pharmacists and general practitioners can access inventory when they run low.
It is not clear whether the UK will be hit by serious flu this year. Some experts believe that social distancing measures already in place will curb the spread of new strains of influenza.
Flu infections during the cold long months in the southern hemisphere are a canary in a coal mine to determine how badly the NHS is affected by outbreaks and are used to develop the preventive flu vaccine. And this year, Australia and New Zealand escaped a bad flu season, which top experts said was due to social distancing measures.
Most people who get the flu with mild illness, but those who have had a severe attack, can be hospitalized. Seasonal flu has a death rate of around 0.1 percent.
Covid-19's tell-tale symptoms – fever, cough, and loss of smell or taste – could be mistaken for the flu, which has similar effects and is much worse than a cold.
This could lead to confusion among the population. If they have the coronavirus, they may think that they will only have the flu if they have not been given a vaccine to protect them.
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