Local clinicians are encouraging those people who are most at risk in Dorset to get protected against flu as soon as possible.

As part of the introduction of national restrictions introduced in November, people who are clinically extremely vulnerable and more at risk of complications if they catch COVID-19 were asked to take steps to minimise their risk of contracting the virus.

Now the restrictions have been eased, whilst the advice is still to minimise your risk, get your flu vaccination if you are offered one. Research shows that if you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time you are more likely to become seriously ill.

If you’ve had COVID-19, it’s safe to have the flu vaccine and practices have new ways of working to reduce the risk to anyone who attends including use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and social distancing.

Dr Lisa Nayler is a GP Partner at Parkstone Tower Practice, she said “We recognise that people who are vulnerable and have been shielding may be anxious about attending surgeries and getting their flu jab, however I would like to reassure them that general practice is safe and we doing everything we can to reduce people’s risk.

I would urge anyone who is eligible to take up the offer now we are in flu season, particularly those with underlying health conditions and health and social care workers where we tend to see lower uptake – to help protect themselves, their family and the NHS.”

The flu vaccine is available free from the NHS for the following groups:

  • people 50 and over (including those who’ll be 50 by 31 March 2021)
  • pregnant women
  • children aged 2 and 3
  • pupils in reception class and school years 1 to 7
  • people with long-term health conditions (including asthma, COPD and cardiovascular issues)
  • front-line health and social care staff
  • people who live with someone who was on the NHS shielded list

Further information.