GPs unite in plea for Shropshire patients to get flu vaccine

GPs across the county are uniting in a plea for patients to get their flu vaccines saying it is 'more important than ever'.

GPs are uniting in a plea for patients to get their flu vaccines. From left, Melissa Garland, Libby Collinson, Dr Jess Harvey and Amanda Johnson
GPs are uniting in a plea for patients to get their flu vaccines. From left, Melissa Garland, Libby Collinson, Dr Jess Harvey and Amanda Johnson

The programme has been expanded this year, with millions more being offered a free jab to ease pressure on healthcare services.

This year, flu clinics have looked a little different in order to maintain social distancing and make sure staff and patients are protected.

Anyone who is eligible for a free flu jab and is yet to take up the offer is being urged to come forward.

Dr Jess Harvey, from Much Wenlock and Cressage Medical Practice, said: "GPs across the county want to thank patients for being so good and understanding in what has been a challenging flu vaccine programme.

"We understand it has been different in how the programme has been staggered and rolled out.

"This year it's more important than ever to get the flu vaccine.

"We don't want extra people going to hospital at a difficult time. Winter is always a difficult time for the NHS and people certainly don't want to get flu and Covid at the same time.

"We still have a lot of patients we are trying to encourage to come forward to have the vaccine."

Dr Harvey says GP surgeries have adapted this year by offering drive-through and walk-through clinics, while some have operated one-way systems through their practice or at another location.

She says patients should be reassured that measures have been put in place to make it safe and anyone requiring a vaccine should contact their GP surgery.

From left, Amanda Johnson, Melissa Garland, Dr Jess Harvey and Libby Collinson

She added: "There's been incredible efforts this year to make sure it is safe.

"We want to make sure it is safe, efficient and effective."

The flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to people who are at risk.

The group includes anyone who is 65 or over, pregnant and children in certain age groups or with long-term health conditions.

It is also available to anyone who has certain medical conditions, is a carer or who lives with someone who is on the NHS shielded patient list.

The flu vaccine will also be given to 50 to 64-year-olds this year.

Frontline health and social care workers are also eligible to receive the flu vaccine, and pharmacies can offer flu jabs as well.

To find out if you are eligible for a free flu jab visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/who-should-have-flu-vaccine

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