Flu vaccines are one of the most effective measures the NHS has in reducing pressures on Vital NHS services such as A&E departments, GP’s, walk in centres, etc. As we are all too painfully aware this winter we are also facing the challenges of Covid-19 along with the normal winter pressures. The flu vaccine is currently estimated to save hospitals more than £40 million this year by preventing long hospital admissions. It will also reduce ITU occupancy and the number or resulting deaths. Additionally there is increasing evidence that people with both flu and Covid-19 are more than twice as likely to die as someone with only Covid-19. The flu vaccine is the main health promotion campaign this winter. The Government has pledged that everyone over 50 can receive the NHS vaccine free for the first time. However, many will still be left vulnerable or waiting an extended period of time to access a flu vaccine.

Fortunately for those who feel vulnerable or those that can’t wait you can now go online and book a Flu’ jab at your local pharmacy using Charac. Charac is a new web-based Pharmacy App which allows you to connect you with your local pharmacist. Through the application you can book a number of different services. Services available include video consultation for delicate matters, management of your prescriptions, health updates and advice, as well as arranging Flu’ jabs for you and your family. You will always have the option to either arrange a video call with your pharmacist or book a face-to-face appointment at the pharmacy.  

As a result of the Government’s £4 million advertising campaign, Public Health England and NHS England are hoping to reach 30 million people with this year’s flu vaccine programme. 

Also, NHS England, the British Medical Association (BMA) and the community pharmacy sector are actively cooperating to make this flu season a success. Increasingly, community pharmacies have really stepped up to the plate and are playing an integral role in health promotion and implementing primary health care.

Why is it especially important to get the flu vaccine this year?

We have all increased measures that help protect us against infection due to the risk of catching COVID-19. These measures include social distancing, wearing face masks, and washing hands. Although this too will help against the risk of catching the flu, it’s still more important than ever to get vaccinated. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused hospital bed shortages, ICU beds, and ventilator shortages even outside of the winter season. During flu season, when both the flu and COVID-19 will be circulating, hospitals may again face shortages, limiting their ability to care for people who are seriously ill with the flu, COVID-19, or both.

COVID-19 and flu, as I am sure you are aware by now, have similar symptoms: fever, chills, fatigue, body aches, coughs etc. So, people who get the flu will need to be tested for COVID-19 also. And possibly need to quarantine until they get the test results back. This could mean more days off work, in an already financially challenging time.

Join the campaign and book your flu vaccine online with a Charac collaborated pharmacy today. If your community pharmacy is not yet signed up let us know and we will get them signed up