1.3 million flu jab invites are due to be sent to homes in England this weekend as the NHS continues to move forward with its annual vaccination campaign.
Nearly 1.25 million texts and 300,000 emails have already been sent to parents of two- and three-year-olds urging them to book appointments for their children, the most “challenging ones on record for health”. Winter” is expected to be one. Services.
Last week, senior health officials warned of a “realistic prospect” that there could be 60,000 flu deaths in the coming months, with the elderly and vulnerable people more vulnerable to the virus.
The NHS aims to give the flu jab to at least 85 percent of people age 65 and older. It is expected to reach at least 75 percent of people with underlying health conditions, at least 75 percent of pregnant women, 70 percent of under-17s and at least 85 percent of all health and social care workers.
In total, nearly 35 million people have been made eligible for the free jab this year amid fears that cases could rise by as much as 50 percent in the coming flu season.
“This year it is more important than ever that all children and eligible adults are offered free vaccines, as we head into one of the most challenging winters for the NHS,” said Dr Nikki Kanani, medical director of primary care. NHS in England.
About 1.3 million letters are to be delivered at home later this week detailing how parents can book the flu vaccine, which can be given as a nasal spray to young children at their local GP practice. could.
Kanani said, “The flu every winter has a serious health impact on the health of thousands of people, and getting your child vaccinated will protect them, and help prevent the spread of the virus to your most vulnerable family members and loved ones. “
The campaign to promote flu vaccination comes as the latest data from Imperial College London’s React-1 study, one of several reviewed by the government’s COVID experts, shows that the spread of the COVID-19 is five to 12 percent. year-old children and 13 to 17-year-olds. -Children. However, rates are falling among those aged 18 to 54.
The study noted that between September 9 and 27, cases were also higher among people of black ethnicity (1.41 percent) than among those of white background (0.78 percent).
There is also evidence of increased infection within London and the East Midlands, although the highest regional spread was recorded in Yorkshire and The Humber, with 1.25 per cent of the population infected over the time frame.
As part of the study, nasal swabs are taken from random samples of the population and then the results are extrapolated and compared with previous visits to React-1.
Through this research, Imperial’s team was also able to conclude that the overall protection against infection was 62.8 percent among those vaccinated between September 9 and 27.
For those receiving the AstraZeneca jab, that figure is 44.8 percent, but it has risen to 71.3 percent among those receiving the Pfizer vaccine.
The lowest prevalence of COVID was recorded in individuals who received their second dose within the last three months. However, rates were higher in those who were fully vaccinated between three and six months before the trial under study.
The potential increase in breakthrough infections over time reinforces the need for a booster programme, with more than a third of two million jabs given to people in England by October 10, the researchers said.
Commenting on the study, Kevin McConway, Emeritus Professor of Applied Statistics at The Open University, said the finding was “slightly concerning”.
“This could perhaps indicate that the effectiveness of the vaccine is decreasing over time – but, as the React-1 researchers point out, these estimates include averages over different time periods and in different states of the epidemic, and perhaps they There are no comparisons with Likes. ”
The latest government data shows that daily Covid cases have returned to the highs last seen in July, while hospitalizations are also increasing.
On Wednesday, 42,776 were tested positive across the UK – a seven per cent increase over the previous week. This is the highest figure recorded since July 21, when 44,104 infections were posted, and marks the eighth consecutive day of increase.
As per the latest figures, a total of 754 people were hospitalized with COVID as on October 9, showing a week-on-week increase of 10.4 per cent. In England, some 17 critical care beds are occupied by Covid patients.
Professor Paul Elliott, director of the React program at Imperial College London, said the UK was now in a “push-pull” dynamic driven by viruses, vaccine protection levels, natural immunity and population mixing patterns, “which is clearly another who would have been infected.” It’s a very important component of how many people get infected and where they get infected.”
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /