Amid fears about the winter spike of respiratory diseases, the NHS wants to prevent deaths from flu by vaccinating vulnerable people.
Starting today, many people can get their flu jab for free, but not students.
Last year’s lockdown prevented many from getting coronavirus but it also stopped different flu variants from spreading. After lifting covid restrictions this year, it is more difficult to navigate which strains are going to be more active with threats of both flu and Covid-19 spreading.
Jenny Harries, the chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency warned that people may have a lower level of immunity to defend themselves.
“Because people have not had the opportunity to build their immunity from the previous season where we have had very low rates, there is a possibility of having a number of different strains circulating at the same time,” she said.
Researches suggest that people infected with both diseases are twice as likely to die compared to someone who had just Covid-19.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said for Sky News that it is “extremely” important to get the jab this year.
"It's extremely important people get the flu vaccination" says Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, as social distancing last year meant people didn't build up immunity to it.#KayBurley: https://t.co/E6RIQuWa27 pic.twitter.com/QtRpUoFaMK
— Sky News (@SkyNews) October 8, 2021
Flu vaccines will be available for free for over-50s, people with health conditions, healthcare workers, pregnant women, infants at risk, and for the first time also secondary-school children up to the age of 16.
Following the decision, nurse Rod Thomson spoke to the media.
“That puts a huge demand on the school nursing services, both to deliver the new vaccine programme for children, but it also highlights the need for any of the children who missed out on routine vaccinations such as HPV,” he said.
However, university students will have to pay as much as £15 for the vaccine, unless they have an underlying health condition.
This may be a limiting factor for students deciding whether to get a jab or not.
We asked LSBU students if they think it is fair that they have to pay for it and if they would get it. Here is what they said:
Students, who are one of the most active groups in society, will have to pay for their flu jabs. It is unclear how many of them will do it. Flu can start spreading at homes and universities this winter.
Anyone who wants to get the flu vaccine can get it privately at many pharmacies.