Nearly 220,000 people across north east London have now received flu vaccinations to help keep them well this winter, just weeks after those eligible were invited to come forward.
Local teams have also delivered nearly 100,000 seasonal Covid-19 jabs since the NHS launched its annual campaign in September to ensure those at higher risk are better protected.
More than one million people across north east London are eligible for winter flu jabs this year and more than a half a million are eligible for Covid-19 vaccinations, with efforts focusing on the over-65s, pregnant women, unpaid carers and those deemed clinically vulnerable along with their household contacts.
Latest data shows overall uptake of flu and Covid-19 jabs in north east London remains below the national average but vaccinations are now on offer at more than 175 sites across Barking and Dagenham, City of London, Hackney, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest, including community pharmacies and some GP surgeries.
Local vaccination teams have also marked a major milestone – with more than four million Covid-19 jabs now delivered in NEL since the vaccine programme’s launch in 2020.
Health and care professionals are now urging everyone who is eligible to come forward as soon as possible to protect themselves this winter, particularly those aged under 65 who have a health condition that makes them more susceptible to serious illness.
Dr Muhammad Naqvi, a Newham GP and Clinical Lead for Immunisations for NHS NEL, said:
“Delivering four million vaccinations since 2020 is a phenomenal achievement and it’s testament to the fantastic collective effort of the hundreds of doctors, staff and volunteers from health and care partners across north east London who have supported this vital work.
“Our work is far from done though. The winter vaccinations campaign is now well under way and, while we’re grateful to all those who have already come forward, we know there are many local people eligible for flu and Covid-19 jabs who are yet to have theirs.
“Vaccinations remain our best defence against serious illness, and with infections spreading more easily as we start to spend more time indoors it’s vital all those eligible come forward for their jabs as soon as possible. “Getting vaccinated will ensure you protect yourself and will also keep those around you safe by helping to stop these nasty viruses spreading in your local community this winter.”
This year’s vaccination campaign was brought forward to mid-September due to the emergence of the new Covid-19 variant, known as Pirola. People living and working in care homes were the first to receive vaccinations and those in other eligible groups can now book their boosters, including frontline health and care staff.
In north east London, the NHS is working closely with local authorities and the voluntary sector to deliver targeted activity within local communities to encourage people to get vaccinated.
The Covid-19 and flu vaccines can be safely given during the same appointment and the protection they provide is the best defence against serious illness or hospitalisation this winter. The flu vaccine is also being offered to most children and is usually given as a quick, painless nasal spray. Further details on all winter vaccinations, and how to book, are available on our winter vaccinations page.