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GPs warned to stock up on flu jabs as NHS fears double risk this winter


GPs have been warned of a double risk from flu and COVID-19 this winter which could hit the NHS just months after its recovery from the coronavirus surge.

NHS England has told practices to stock up on flu vaccines while discussions are ongoing as to whether to widen the eligibility for flu jabs to try and protect as many people as possible from September onwards.

A second wave of coronavirus during winter, when the NHS is typically under strain from flu could overwhelm services with those most at risk from flu similarly vulnerable to coronavirus.

In a letter from NHS chiefs, including chief medical officer Chris Whitty, GPs were told: “Flu vaccination is one of the most effective interventions we have to reduce pressure on the health and social care system this winter. We are currently seeing the impact of COVID-19 on the NHS and social care, and this coming winter we may be faced with co-circulation of COVID-19 and flu.

“Those most at risk from flu are also most vulnerable to COVID-19. We must do all we can to help protect them this winter.”

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Source: The Independent, 20 May 2020

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