Health boss warns of ‘flu rebound’ in Doncaster and urges people to get flu jab when offered

A senior Doncaster health boss has warned that seasonal flu could ‘rebound’ hard this coming winter following on from lockdowns in 2020.

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 2:57 pm
Flu vaccination

Dr David Crichton, chair of Doncaster NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said there were ‘very few’ cases of flu during 2020 down mainly to social distancing and a number of lockdowns throughout last year.

People are being urged to get their flu jab when offered and the immunisation programme for the coming winter is expected to get going in the coming weeks.

Dr Crichton also revealed that the uptake of flu vaccinations during 2020 was one of the highest for a number of years’ and hopes it will continue into 2021.

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The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to people who are:

Aged 50 and over Have certain health conditions Are pregnant In long-stay residential care Receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if they get sick Live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis) Frontline health or social care workers

NHS bosses have said that ‘more people are likely to get flu this winter’ as fewer people will have ‘built up natural immunity’ to it during the pandemic

In a recent meeting, councillors heard that the CCG are awaiting more guidance around a third Covid-19 booster vaccine which is also expected in the coming weeks to those in the most vulnerable categories.

“We haven’t got the guidance about the wider Covid-19 booster programme, that’s being discussed but that shouldn’t stop us getting on with the flu vaccine, which will be more important than ever,” Dr Crichton said.

“This is because there were very few cases of flu last year so we are expecting a rebound this year.

“Last year’s uptake was the highest I think we’ve had for a number of years, we’re hoping we’ll have the same impact this year.

“Equally, alongside that we are planning for the phase three boosters for Covid-19, the first cohort are those who are particularly vulnerable, on medications that repress their immune system, but we want people to be aware we will be starting to roll out this flu campaign alongside them.”

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In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.