It might not be the time of year you want to think about getting a flu jab, but the NHS’ plans are well advanced for this winter’s immunisation programme.
For residents in England, the good news is that once again you will be able to get a flu jab at your local pharmacy – no appointment necessary!
The national flu immunisation programme is being extended to children in a phased roll-out. As well as all two to four year olds, in 2016-17 the vaccine will additionally be offered to all children of school year 3 age. Children of school years 1 and 2 age will remain eligible.
The NHS hopes that the children’s programme, once fully implemented, will avert many cases of severe flu and flu-related deaths in older adults and others in ‘at risk’ groups.
Provisional data show that in 2015/16 the vaccine was well matched to the circulating strains of flu. Throughout the past decade, there has generally been a good match between the strains of flu in the vaccine and those that subsequently circulated.
Flu vaccination remains the best way to protect people from flu. Remember that come the autumn.