Combining COVID Booster Jabs & Flu Vaccines This Winter

It’s that time of year again, flu season!

While many of us are planning for the upcoming autumn/winter festivities, during this time it’s important for us to keep safe to protect our own health and to keep the NHS from overcrowding.

This winter, the biggest flu vaccine programme in the NHS’s history has been launched, with more than 35 million people in England eligible for a free flu jab. Alongside this, COVID-19 booster vaccines are being offered to around 28 million people in England to protect as many lives as possible from the COVID-19 virus.

If you are offered both the flu vaccine and the COVID booster vaccine, the Government have specified that it’s safe to have them at the same time.  

In a new film campaign launched by the Government on Friday 8 October, media medics Dr Amir Khan, Dr Dawn Harper and Dr Karan Ranj explain why it is more important than ever for people to get their winter vaccines.

Link to the video:

The Government’s nationwide flu and Covid booster campaign is also supported by a coalition of leading charities and healthcare professional bodies, including the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Royal College of Midwives, Asthma UK, British Lung Foundation and Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

The campaign was launched as new Government research suggests that adults in England are severely underestimating the combined threat of COVID-19 and flu this winter.

The research also suggests there could be a significant flu surge this winter coinciding with continuing or rising COVID-19 cases. This is due to colder weather which virus transmission favours, darker nights which mean increased social contact indoors where it is less well ventilated and expected lower immunity to flu due to lower levels in circulation last winter.

Further findings from the Cabinet Office commissioned survey:

  • 20% were unaware that flu is spread by germs from coughs and sneezes and can live on hands and surfaces for 24 hours – 12% said they didn’t know, 8% said it was false and 80% said it was true
  • 13% said flu is a disease of the past and doesn’t pose as much of a threat today – 8% said they didn’t know and 79% said it was false
  • 9% said the vaccination against COVID-19 will protect you from flu – 12% said they didn’t know and 81% said it was false
  • 14% said flu won’t be as prevalent this autumn and winter due to past lockdowns – 65% said false, 21% said don’t know
  • 13% said flu is no longer a fatal respiratory disease – 13% said they didn’t know and 75% said it was false
  • 83% said they were likely to have a booster vaccine for COVID-19 if offered – 5% said unlikely, 9% said neither likely nor unlikely and 3% said didn’t know
  • 66% said they were likely to have a flu vaccine – 17% said unlikely, 13% said neither likely nor unlikely and 4% didn’t know

Opinium conducted an online survey with a nationally representative sample of 3,000 adults in England which ran from 10 to 14 September 2021.

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