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Welsh flu vaccination programme extended to include under 16s and over 50s for second year

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The Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan has today confirmed Wales’ flu vaccination programme will once again be extended to include those aged 50 and over and secondary school children in academic years 7-11 (11-16 years old).

This is the second year the programme has been extended, which means that more than 1.5m people in Wales will be eligible for a free vaccine again this year.

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Those eligible for a free vaccine also include pregnant women, those with underlying health conditions and children aged two to 10 years of age.

An additional funding package of £7.85m will be allocated to health boards to reach both additional cohorts.

Last year more people in Wales than ever before received a flu vaccine as part of the annual flu vaccination programme with the aim to help protect both the public and the NHS from the co-circulation of flu and COVID-19.

Achieving a high uptake is vital to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with influenza, and to reduce hospitalisations during a time when the NHS and social care may also be managing winter outbreaks of COVID-19.

The JCVI has given an indication that there is likely to be an autumn booster programme for COVID-19 vaccinations and there may be opportunities for co-administration throughout the 2022-23 season. Those planning and administering vaccines should utilise these opportunities where appropriate, to help maximise vaccine uptake.

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Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan, said:“Here in Wales we feel it’s important that we continue to protect as many people as possible from flu and I’m pleased to confirm we will once again rollout an extended flu programme.

“Covid has not gone away and our NHS is still very much recovering from the pandemic, ensuring as many people are protected from the flu will not only help individuals and their communities but also protect our NHS. I would encourage eligible people to take up the offer.”

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