The UK Government has announced that citizens over 50 in the UK will be able to receive a free flu vaccine from 1 December this year.
As part of the expansion of the UK’s flu vaccine programme this winter, people over the age of 50 will be able to receive a free shot from their GP or pharmacy.
Provisional data published by Public Health England shows that flu vaccine uptake is higher in all vulnerable groups except pregnant women, compared to this time last year, with the data showing that 72.9% of those aged 65 and over, 45.0% of two year olds, and 46.8% of three year olds have had their vaccine.
Vaccinating the vulnerable
The Government has secured a supply of over seven million vaccines amid higher global demand, meaning GPs, trusts, and pharmacists can order additional stock, with enough supply to vaccinate 30 million people throughout this year’s flu season in England.
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said: “This winter is like no other, and we have to worry about the twin threats of flu and COVID-19. COVID means getting a flu jab is more important than ever this year. So, we are delivering the largest ever flu vaccination programme. Free vaccinations for 50 to 64 years olds will now be available from GPs and pharmacies starting from 1 December.”
Public Health Minister Jo Churchill said: “To prepare for this challenging winter, we committed to protect as many people as possible from the flu, to keep those at risk safe and reduce the strain on our NHS. I am pleased we are now able to deliver on that commitment with those aged 50 to 64 invited to get their free flu vaccine from the start of December.
“These vaccinations are already being given to our existing priority groups and that vital work will continue. More vaccine is flowing into GPs and pharmacies throughout the next few months, and I would urge anyone eligible for their flu vaccine to get one, including all health and social care workers.”