All these eligible for the flu vaccine have been urged to come back ahead as circumstances rise to ranges not seen since earlier than the pandemic.
To this point this yr, flu vaccine uptake in eligible teams is much like the final couple of years, though there’s a explicit want for pre-schoolers, pregnant ladies and people within the well being and social care workforces to take up the supply.
Newest UKHSA information exhibits there have been jumps in emergency division flu attendances and hospital admissions within the final week. The intensive care admission price is now increased for flu than for Covid.
Within the week 14 to twenty November 2022:
- The hospital admission price for flu elevated to 24 per million inhabitants, up from 15 per million the earlier week. The best charges had been within the beneath 5s adopted by the 75 years plus group. The Covid price was 44 per million inhabitants.
- The intensive care and excessive dependency take care of influenza elevated to 21 per 10 million inhabitants in comparison with 13 per 10 million inhabitants within the earlier week. The best charges had been within the beneath 5s adopted by the 65 years plus group. The Covid price was 17 per 10 million inhabitants.
These aged 2 and three years previous are eligible for nasal spray flu vaccines, with dad and mom and guardians additionally urged to e book appointments to make sure the youthful age group is protected.
With each flu and Covid circumstances each circulating this winter, it is usually very important all these eligible get each vaccines as quickly as attainable.
Because of the improve in ranges of flu circulating in the neighborhood, the UK Well being Safety Company (UKHSA) has beneficial that it’s now acceptable for antiviral medicines to be prescribed in main care settings.
These eligible for antivirals if they’ve flu embrace sufferers in medical at-risk teams in addition to any who’re prone to extreme sickness and problems from flu if not handled. This contains folks in these teams who current with signs of flu and those that have been uncovered to flu-like sicknesses from somebody they dwell with, together with residents of care properties.
As has occurred in flu seasons earlier than the pandemic, following an UKHSA suggestion, the Chief Medical Officer along with the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer have issued an alert to the NHS notifying the healthcare system that antiviral medicines can now be prescribed and provided for circumstances of neighborhood acquired influenza.
Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, stated:
Flu and Covid are each circulating. We’re at the moment seeing increased charges of flu right now of yr than ordinary.
It will be significant these eligible have their flu jab as quickly as they’ll. Vaccines are the very best defence towards these viruses. The simplest strategy is to get vaccinated earlier than it’s circulating at very excessive charges.
As flu circumstances have risen and with a purpose to shield essentially the most weak – in keeping with pre-COVID flu seasons antiviral medicines can now be prescribed in main care settings similar to GPs and pharmacies to these eligible who’re most in danger to the problems of flu.”
Well being and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay stated:
Flu is a critical virus and, whereas we have not seen the variety of circumstances we’re used to during the last couple of years, it’s beginning to flow into at excessive ranges this season.
Fortunately we’ve the instruments to guard these most in danger to flu. Due to our unbelievable vaccination marketing campaign, greater than 17 million flu jabs have been given in England this season already.
For all these eligible who haven’t but come ahead for his or her free winter vaccines for flu and Covid, please don’t delay in coming ahead to your jab. It couldn’t be simpler.”
In England, the primary weekly winter replace exhibits there have been a mean of 344 sufferers a day with flu in hospital final week, greater than ten occasions the quantity seen firstly of December final yr.
In October, a brand new country-wide advertising and marketing marketing campaign urging thousands and thousands of eligible folks to get their flu and Covid booster vaccines to prime up their immunity was launched.
Constructing on the success of the 2021/22 Covid vaccination marketing campaign, the marketing campaign careworn that the safety offered by vaccines wanes over time, so everybody eligible ought to increase their immunity by getting each vaccines forward of a tough winter.
Dr Mary Ramsay, Director for Immunisation & Programmes at UKHSA:
Our surveillance exhibits current will increase in laboratory and medical influenza indicators throughout England, significantly NHS emergency division attendances, hospitalisations and intensive care. Alongside older adults, flu charges are quickly rising in youthful youngsters. Vaccination stays essential and I urge everybody eligible to take up the supply.
Flu antivirals are efficient in serving to to maintain folks out of hospital and stopping the virus spreading to different extra weak family and relations. Now that we’re seeing flu rising it is necessary that GPs take into account the potential for flu in respiratory sufferers and the usage of antivirals in keeping with nationwide steerage, significantly if they’ve dominated out COVID-19.”
Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS nationwide medical director, stated:
The primary weekly information this yr exhibits that flu is already with us as we enter what could possibly be essentially the most difficult winter in NHS historical past, with a whole bunch of beds a day already occupied with sufferers with flu.
Flu could be extraordinarily critical for plenty of folks, so pharmacies and GPs will now be capable to prescribe antivirals to these most prone to its problems to assist folks keep away from the necessity for hospital care.
However one of the best ways people who find themselves eligible can shield themselves is by getting vaccinated at once – there are literally thousands of websites throughout the nation providing flu and covid jabs so please e book in at present if you have not already.”
The alert regarding flu antiviral medication has been issued to main care settings together with GPs and neighborhood pharmacies in England.
The Division of Well being and Social Care continues to work intently with the producers of antiviral medicines, used within the remedy of flu, to watch shares and be certain that there are sufficient provides of those medicines obtainable to fulfill UK demand.
The prescription and provide of antivirals in main care settings is in keeping with NICE steerage.
Antiviral medicines don’t work like a vaccine which helps to cease you from getting the flu, however they’ll scale back the severity of the illness in case you are handled early.
Antiviral medicines could also be prescribed at any time within the secondary care setting for sufferers with suspected seasonal influenza an infection. In main care, as soon as it has been confirmed that flu is circulating in the neighborhood, antiviral medicines could also be prescribed for sufferers in “medical at-risk teams” in addition to any who’re prone to extreme sickness and/or problems from flu if not handled.
This alert is issued based mostly on recommendation from UKHSA, which screens the extent of flu circulating in the neighborhood based mostly on a variety of various indicators. This contains the variety of optimistic assessments for flu, the variety of acute respiratory outbreaks reported, hospital admissions, and the variety of GP consultations for flu like sickness.
The alert could be discovered right here: https://www.cas.mhra.gov.uk/ViewandAcknowledgment/ViewAlert.aspx?AlertID=103217
Hyperlink to newest weekly UKHSA nationwide flu and Covid surveillance report could be discovered right here: https://www.gov.uk/authorities/information/national-flu-and-covid-19-surveillance-reports-published