People aged 50 and over in Bracknell are being encouraged to book up for a flu jab after new research shows those infected with the virus and Covid-19 are more at risk of severe illness and death.

The drive comes as new research from Public Health England (PHE), suggests the risk of death more than doubled for people who tested positive for both flu and Covid-19, compared to those with Covid-19 alone.

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The flu vaccination programme is being rolled out to 30 million people this year – the highest number ever.

Bracknell Forest Council is urging residents that are eligible to book for their free flu jab.

The flu circulates every year and becomes very prominent in the winter months. The council warns it can be extremely dangerous for the elderly, the very young and those with long-term health conditions.

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People who are eligible are as followed:

  • 65 plus years old
  • Pregnant women
  • Children ages 2 to 11-years-old
  • Those who are shielding and members of their household
  • Frontline health and social care workers
  • Those with a long-term health condition (LTHC)

Once the vaccinations for the most at-risk are well underway, the programme will then invite people aged 50-64 to get their flu jab.

GP surgeries are already busy contacting those who are eligible to arrange their appointment.

Councillor Dale Birch, executive member for adult services, health and housing, gets his flu jab every year and is encouraging Bracknell Forest residents to do the same, he said: “Getting your flu jab is the best protection there is against the flu virus. Flu can spread very quickly, and symptoms can be extremely unpleasant, severe and in some cases, life threatening.

“Coronavirus hasn’t gone away and with flu season approaching our NHS could come under intense pressure. As we all know, winter is naturally a very busy time for the NHS.

"The best thing we can do to help alleviate that pressure is to get vaccinated and maintain good hygiene practises. The flu jab itself is quick and easy and it really doesn’t hurt.

“We don’t want to put ourselves in a position where we could catch Covid-19 and the flu, the outcome could be fatal. Let’s keep ourselves protected from flu and be fighting fit for winter.”

If you are eligible for the vaccine, you will be contacted by your GP practice over the coming weeks.

They will explain how you will be able to get the flu vaccination.

For more information visit the NHS website.