UK heath chiefs are warning that Covid could ruin Christmas for millions of people without a booster jab.
A warning by NHS England claimed that nearly half of all eligible adults have not taken up their free booster jab.
Vaccine czar Steve Russell said getting a booster jabe is the best to avoid you or loved ones becoming seriously sick this festive period.
He said: “We’re getting closer to the festive period when lots of people will be coming together with their families and friends, and getting vaccinated is the best way to keep you and those around you from getting seriously ill during the colder months. It only takes a few moments to book your flu and Covid vaccines online… but with just two weeks to go until online bookings close, we’re urging those who haven’t yet come forward to do so.”
Where have we heard this before?
MSN reports: Stats show 20 million people were invited for a Covid-19 booster since September – including all over-65s – but only 11.4 million have taken up the offer. It comes as barely half – 16.1 million – of the 30 million eligible for a flu vaccine have received them, with uptake especially low among pregnant women.
Health chiefs are keen to drive uptake to avoid a disaster at A&E departments this Christmas period. Last year, the flu killed more people than Covid-19, causing 14,600 deaths in Britain compared with 10,300 from Covid-19.
It also caused more hospitalisations at its peak than Covid-19, with young kids being badly affected and more than 10,000 hospitalised with the virus last year. Dr Mary Ramsay from the UK Health Security Agency said over half of high risk people aged under 65 and two-thirds of pregnant women have not come forward for their flu vaccine this winter.
She said: “Getting vaccinated as soon as possible will help reduce your risk of getting seriously ill with flu or Covid-19 this festive season. You can help reduce the spread of these infections by avoiding mixing with others where possible when showing signs of a respiratory illness like flu and Covid-19, particularly those who are more vulnerable.”