The UK Health and Safety Executive (UKHSA), the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England are urging those eligible who have not yet come forward for flu and Covid-19 vaccines to ‘harden up the winter’ and join millions more over the festive and New Year season when flu and COVID-19 peak. Expected to be.
A total of 11.7 million people in England have received the flu vaccine so far, 8.6 million have received the Covid-19 booster, but millions more in vulnerable groups are at risk.
As part of a drive to encourage those eligible but still unvaccinated to come forward, TV doctor and former Gladiator Dr Joe Williams is fronting a major new national marketing campaign launched today (November 1).
Ads encouraging people to ‘strengthen winter’ – with gladiatorial creative and copy – will appear on demand on TV, radio and billboards, with more content on social media and in newspapers throughout the campaign, which runs from November 1 to mid-December.
For flu and COVID-19 vaccines, the campaign targets pregnant women and those with ongoing health conditions, as these groups have received less vaccine recently despite being at higher risk. The campaign aims to engage parents of 2 and 3-year-old children (August 31) to vaccinate their children against the flu.
Dr. Mary Ramsey, Director of Immunization UKHSAsaid:
As the weather gets colder, respiratory viruses spread more easily and usually reach their peak during the festive and New Year period.
For those most at risk, both the flu and COVID-19 can cause serious illness, often requiring hospitalization. No one wants to miss out on festive celebrations with their friends and family this winter, and vaccines offer the best possible protection.
I urge them to join the millions of eligible people who have taken up their offer of free vaccines to brace for the winter – don’t put it off, book your appointment today and arm yourself against the risk of serious illness.”
GP and TV doctor Joe Williams says:
Flu and COVID-19 vaccines can help prepare your immune system, making you stronger through the winter and better able to fight off these illnesses if they come your way.
If you’re eligible, because your risk of serious illness is high, now’s the time to get protected before winter arrives. Pregnant women and those with chronic health conditions are especially vulnerable to the flu and COVID-19, and young children ages 2 and 3 years old.
My 2 year old recently had their flu nasal spray shot. It was quick and painless, and I would strongly encourage other parents to take up the offer No one wants to see what their child’s illness could be, especially with the winter holidays ahead.
Steve Russell, Chief Delivery Officer and National Director of Vaccination and Screening at NHS England said:
Getting the flu and COVID-19 vaccines are two of the most important things you can do to protect yourself from serious illness this winter. We’re delighted that more than 20 million winter vaccines have already been given – making it the fastest flu rollout on record – and hope others will follow suit as they watch this campaign, especially those most at risk.
Thousands of sites are open across the country and eligible adults can book both vaccinations online or via the NHS app in just minutes – if you’re eligible, we’d urge you to get both vaccinations as soon as possible. Help protect yourself and your loved ones and strengthen the winter.”
Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Thomas Waite said:
Flu and Covid can lead to serious illness and hospitalization for vulnerable people, so it’s essential to protect yourself by booking your jab.
If you are eligible, please come forward and get your jab as soon as possible to ensure your best protection against these viruses.
National charities are urging people with health conditions that make them more vulnerable to serious complications from flu and COVID-19 to come forward to get the jab.”
Pamela Healy, chief executive of the British Liver Trust, said:
People with liver conditions, especially those with advanced liver disease or those who are immunosuppressed, are among the most vulnerable groups to Covid-19 and the flu, so vaccines are the best protection against the virus.
We therefore recommend that all eligible liver disease patients should strongly consider vaccination.”
Douglas Twonfour, Head of Care at Diabetes UK, said:
People with diabetes have a higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19 and also have a higher risk of serious complications from the flu. Vaccines are the safest, most effective way to protect us from both COVID-19 and the flu, and if you or a loved one has diabetes, it’s important to get both jabs this winter. These vaccines not only provide personal protection, they also help protect those around us.”
Sickle Cell Society chief executive John James said:
As we move into the winter season, people with sickle cell disease may be more susceptible to the harmful effects of COVID-19 and the flu. We welcome that both vaccines are being offered again this year to sickle cell patients who we know were adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccines are the best defense against serious illness, so we’re encouraging anyone living with the disease to come forward and book their free covid and flu jab to keep them safe and well this winter.”
Fiona Loud, Policy Director at Kidney Care UK said:
COVID-19 still poses a risk to thousands of immunocompromised people who do not have the same level of protection from vaccines as the general population. People with kidney disease are also at risk for flu complications. Evidence shows that COVID-19 protection increases with each booster dose so it’s really important that as many people as possible take up the offer of the COVID-19 and flu vaccine. If you live with someone who is vaccinated because they are immunocompromised or have kidney disease, you are also eligible, so we urge everyone to check if they can get their free vaccine, and if they are, to get it soon. “Like they can.”