Flu jab 'more important than ever' this winter

Research shows people can catch both diseases at the same time, with serious and sometimes deadly consequences. Research shows people can catch both diseases at the same time, with serious and sometimes deadly consequences.

are being offered a free flu vaccine this year - anyone over 50 in England is eligible.

A

is not available yet and experts are worried the UK could see the virus rip through the population this winter.

Research from Public Health England looking at Covid-19 illness between January and April among nearly 20,000 hospital patients suggests risk of death is more than doubled for people who catch flu on top of coronavirus, compared to coronavirus alone.

Flu by itself can also be a serious condition - it kills around 11,000 people in England each year and hospitalises many more.

People at high risk from flu are also most at risk from Covid-19.

The NHS will get in contact with those who are eligible.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, Prof Jonathan Van-Tam, said: "Flu can be deadly and it is easily spread in children and adults. The vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from becoming ill with the flu, especially if you are in a vulnerable group.

"This winter with Covid still circulating, and the increased risk to life if you are ill with both viruses simultaneously, it is even more vital to get the free jab as soon as you can."

People who are not eligible for a free jab could pay for one at pharmacies and supermarkets, although availability is limited currently while stocks are prioritised to those who need it the most.

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Read the full story at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-54233515

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