Vaccine drive given shot in the arm to prevent ‘double trouble’ in the city.
Manchester’s public health chief is urging people to take up the Autumn Covid booster offer and the flu vaccination to avoid the potential ‘twindemic’ of catching both viruses at the same time.
After two years where the country has seen flu cases at historic lows- probably due to isolating and social distancing - there is evidence it is returning this year starting now in the southern hemisphere. This is alongside the predicted rise in Covid numbers as we approach Winter.
Those eligible, which includes everyone over 50, are urged to get both the Autumn Covid booster and the flu vaccine so that they not only avoid getting ill themselves, but also so that they don’t pass either virus to anyone else, or need hospital treatment.
David Regan, Director of Public Health for Manchester, said: “We do expect high levels of Covid again this winter. That, coupled with the risk of flu means that we all have to do everything possible to stop people becoming seriously ill and it’s even more important that we protect those most at risk.
“Many people will think they don’t need another vaccine because they have already had Covid, or the vaccine didn’t stop them from getting the virus. But, immunity wears off and even if the vaccine doesn’t stop you from getting the virus, it should stop you from getting it as badly and reduce the risk of Long Covid.
“And if new variants arrive in time to cause widespread infection, boosters for older adults and those with health conditions will also be critical in reducing pressure on hospital services, too.”
For those with further questions, Manchester had a free advice line where medically trained staff will be able to answer any concerns or fears. The helpline number is 0800 840 3858 (or text 07890 036 892) and it is open five days a week from 9am to 5pm, with a translation service available.
A full list of who is eligible for the Autumn Covid booster and free flu jabs is also on www.manchester.gov.uk/getmyjab
The website also gives details of how to get any other first or second doses of the Covid vaccine in Manchester as it is never too late to take up the offer.
“Finally, I’d like to say thank you again to Manchester people,” said David. “We’ve asked a lot of everyone over the last two years and as always our residents have looked after one another at all the different stages of the pandemic. We'll keep everyone updated on Manchester's vaccine offer and our main message is to follow all the preventative behaviours so that we keep viruses at bay and don't give Covid and flu anything to do this year."