North Lincs residents urged to help protect the NHS

North Lincs residents urged to help protect the NHS

North Lincs residents urged to help protect the NHS

Health bosses in North Lincolnshire have urged residents to get a flu jab in order to minimise strain and help to protect the NHS over the coming months.

It has been confirmed that in light of the coronavirus pandemic the programme will be extended to more people than usual this year.

Officials say the two illnesses have the potential to put a major strain on the health service as winter approaches.

Although Covid-19 infections in North Lincolnshire have remained relatively low, the North Lincolnshire Health and Wellbeing Board have launched the ‘Stop Covid – Prevent Local Outbreaks’ campaign.

This will see other vaccinations, particularly the flu jab, offered to the public in order to reduce the number of patients admitted to hospital.

The scheme will urge everybody to do their bit to help keep the spread of coronavirus under control in the region, officials say.

There have been a total of 767 cases in North Lincolnshire since the start of the pandemic and an infection rate of 445.2 per 100,000 of the population.

But there is a serious risk that infection numbers could rise as winter approaches, prompting the UK to start its largest ever flu vaccination programme.

Penny Spring, Director of Public Health for North Lincolnshire, said:

“Covid-19 is still very much here with us and there is a serious risk that we will see infection numbers rise as the winter approaches.

“The co-existence of flu and Covid-19 not only poses a risk to individuals, but also has the potential to place an unbearable strain on our NHS.

“An NHS overwhelmed by flu would not be able to respond as effectively as it would like to Covid-19, as well as to other medical problems people may face.

“There is also a risk that frontline NHS and care worker staff could succumb to flu if it is being spread widely. Again, this would impact our frontline health and social care services.

“The symptoms of flu and Covid-19 can be similar and this is another reason why eligible groups should have the flu vaccine.

“We know the symptoms of Covid-19 that require isolation (for the whole household) and testing: a fever or a persistent cough or a change or loss in smell or taste.

“The measures we are all taking to challenge Covid-19, including social distancing, vigorous hand and respiratory hygiene and the wearing of face-coverings where appropriate should also help us against catching and spreading flu.

“It is everyone’s responsibility to stop covid and prevent local outbreaks and get a flu jab will be critical in achieving this.”

Dr Faisel Baig, chairman of the NHS North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group and a North Lincolnshire GP, added:

“This year, we see the UK’s largest ever flu vaccination programme.

“Nationally, the plan is to see approximately 30 million people vaccinated and we should welcome the planning that has taken place to extend the vaccination offer to more people than ever before.

“Every year, flu puts an incredible strain on our population and our NHS. Although flu generally resolves within one to two weeks in the majority of people, we know that it can be deadly, especially in vulnerable groups where it can lead to serious complications, such as pneumonia.

“Over the past five flu seasons, there have been an average 11,000 deaths per season in England alone, with an estimated 22,000 deaths in the 2017-18 season.

“The flu vaccine is the best protection we have against flu and whilst it cannot guarantee complete protection, it does prevent many cases.

“We also know that those who have been vaccinated, but still end up getting flu, tend to get a much milder form.

“Serious side effects of the vaccine are very rare and all potential side effects are discussed before administration of the vaccine.”

At present, the flu vaccine is only offered to a number of groups.

This includes adults aged over 65, primary school-age children, pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions.

It is now expected that it will also be offered to adults aged between 50 and 64.

Contact Gi Scunthorpe News
Email us: