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The UK says it will expand its winter flu vaccination program

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File Photo: Sajid Javid arrives at Downing Street in London, England on February 13, 2020.Reuters / Toby Melville

London (Reuters)-The UK’s most ever expansion of its winter flu vaccination program to millions on Saturday to avoid pressure on hospitals where the COVID-19 pandemic is still prevalent He said it was widespread.

The government, as part of a program starting in September, will include older school children and all people over the age of 50 as part of a program offered in parallel with the potential provision of booster doses of the COVID vaccine, 3500. He said he would provide shots to everyone.

“Influenza can be a serious illness and we want to build a barrier of protection by immunizing a record number of people,” said Health Minister Sajid Javid.

“As the country approaches normal life, we need to learn to live with COVID-19 along with other viruses, and this winter to millions of people to keep them safe. We offer free flu shots. “

Last year, 81% of people over the age of 65 in the United Kingdom were vaccinated against the flu. So far, 88% of the UK’s adult population has been first vaccinated with COVID and 67.5% have been fully vaccinated.

Hospitalization for influenza treatment during the winter usually puts a lot of pressure on the state-owned National Health Service. Health officials fear that the combination of serious flu cases and people in need of coronavirus treatment can make hospitals difficult to deal with.

“Last winter, influenza activity was very low, which is not a reason for complacency because it means fewer people have built protection against the virus,” said UK Public Health Service Medical Care. Director Yvonne Doyle said.

“Coupled with the possibility that COVID-19 is still in circulation, this makes the upcoming flu season very unpredictable.”

Report by Michael Holden. Edited by Andrew MacAskill

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