All these eligible for the flu vaccine have been urged to come back ahead as instances rise to ranges not seen since earlier than the pandemic.
Thus far this 12 months, 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 provide.
Newest UKHSA knowledge exhibits there have been jumps in emergency division flu attendances and hospital admissions within the final week. The intensive care admission fee is now increased for flu than for Covid.
Within the week 14 to twenty November 2022:
- The hospital admission fee for flu elevated to 24 per million inhabitants, up from 15 per million the earlier week. The best charges have been within the underneath 5s adopted by the 75 years plus group. The Covid fee was 44 per million inhabitants.
- The intensive care and excessive dependency look after influenza elevated to 21 per 10 million inhabitants in comparison with 13 per 10 million inhabitants within the earlier week. The best charges have been within the underneath 5s adopted by the 65 years plus group. The Covid fee was 17 per 10 million inhabitants.
These aged 2 and three years previous are eligible for nasal spray flu vaccines, with mother and father and guardians additionally urged to e-book appointments to make sure the youthful age group is protected.
With each flu and Covid instances each circulating this winter, it is usually important all these eligible get each vaccines as quickly as doable.
Because of the enhance in ranges of flu circulating in the neighborhood, the UK Well being Safety Company (UKHSA) has advisable that it’s now applicable for antiviral medicines to be prescribed in main care settings.
These eligible for antivirals if they’ve flu embody sufferers in medical at-risk teams in addition to any who’re prone to extreme sickness and issues from flu if not handled. This contains individuals in these teams who current with signs of flu and people who have been uncovered to flu-like diseases from somebody they reside 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 instances of group 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 at the moment of 12 months than traditional.
It can be crucial these eligible have their flu jab as quickly as they will. Vaccines are one of the best defence towards these viruses. The best strategy is to get vaccinated earlier than it’s circulating at very excessive charges.
As flu instances have risen and with the intention to shield probably the most susceptible – according to pre-COVID flu seasons antiviral medicines can now be prescribed in main care settings reminiscent of GPs and pharmacies to these eligible who’re most in danger to the issues 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 instances we’re used to over the past couple of years, it’s beginning to flow into at excessive ranges this season.
Fortunately we now have the instruments to guard these most in danger to flu. Because of our incredible 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 median of 344 sufferers a day with flu in hospital final week, greater than ten occasions the quantity seen originally of December final 12 months.
In October, a brand new country-wide advertising and marketing marketing campaign urging thousands and thousands of eligible individuals to get their flu and Covid booster vaccines to high up their immunity was launched.
Constructing on the success of the 2021/22 Covid vaccination marketing campaign, the marketing campaign careworn that the safety supplied 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 kids. Vaccination stays vital and I urge everybody eligible to take up the provide.
Flu antivirals are efficient in serving to to maintain individuals out of hospital and stopping the virus spreading to different extra susceptible family and members of the family. Now that we’re seeing flu growing it is vital that GPs contemplate the opportunity of flu in respiratory sufferers and the usage of antivirals according to nationwide steering, significantly if they’ve dominated out COVID-19.”
Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS nationwide medical director, stated:
The primary weekly knowledge this 12 months exhibits that flu is already with us as we enter what may very well be probably the most difficult winter in NHS historical past, with a whole bunch of beds a day already occupied with sufferers with flu.
Flu might be extraordinarily critical for plenty of individuals, so pharmacies and GPs will now have the ability to prescribe antivirals to these most prone to its issues to assist individuals keep away from the necessity for hospital care.
However one of the simplest 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 this time if you have not already.”
The alert regarding flu antiviral medication has been issued to main care settings together with GPs and group pharmacies in England.
The Division of Well being and Social Care continues to work intently with the producers of antiviral medicines, used within the therapy of flu, to observe shares and be sure that there are satisfactory provides of those medicines out there to fulfill UK demand.
The prescription and provide of antivirals in main care settings is according to NICE steering.
Antiviral medicines don’t work like a vaccine which helps to cease you from getting the flu, however they will scale back the severity of the illness if you’re 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 issues from flu if not handled.
This alert is issued based mostly on recommendation from UKHSA, which displays the extent of flu circulating in the neighborhood based mostly on a variety of various indicators. This contains the variety of constructive checks for flu, the variety of acute respiratory outbreaks reported, hospital admissions, and the variety of GP consultations for flu like sickness.
The alert might 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 might be discovered right here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/national-flu-and-covid-19-surveillance-reports-published