A campaign launched in October to protect Mancunians from seasonal flu is proving to be successful with more than 80,000 people vaccinated so far.
This is an increase in 15,000 people from last year, in a city that has historically seen a lower than average uptake in vaccinations.
Those susceptible to flu are also at an increased risk of Covid-19, so it is vital this work continues to protect the most vulnerable.
Councillor Bev Craig, Manchester City Council Executive Member for Adult Health and Wellbeing for Manchester City Council, said: “This year getting vaccinated is not just about ensuring your own health, but the health of your neighbours, colleagues and friends.
“So many sacrifices have been made this year in the name of protecting others which is why we are calling on everybody to do their bit in reducing the risk of seasonal flu outbreaks this year.”
Just over 300,000 people are eligible for this free vaccination and so far 61% of people ages 65 and over have been vaccinated.
This is seen to be a significant milestone given that older people are at a far greater risk from respiratory diseases.
Vaccination is particularly important during these winter months when health care services are already operating under significant pressure with the added challenge of Covid-19.
With a high rate of admittance to hospital, this incentive hopes to ensure as many people as possible are protected from the effects of flu.
Dr. Mo Miah, of the Robert Darbishire Practice in Rusholme, said: “This year it was critical that a strong start was made in getting as many people vaccinated as possible.
“We’ve been successful so far but the job is not finished.”
A strategy is in place to increase the number of BAME people receiving a jab, with their communities already experiencing a disproportionate effect of Covid.
The targeted areas include Cheetham and Crumpsall, Hulme, Rusholme and Moss Side to prevent further hardship to these communities from seasonal flu.
Further efforts are focusing on pregnant women and young children aged two and three who can face more serious complications from flu.
GPs are to remain open during the current lockdown, with professionals assuring that they are safe to attend to receive vaccinations.
David Regan, Director of Public Health for Manchester, said: “Flu vaccination is one of our most effective health protection measures available.
“I would urge every citizen who is eligible to take up their flu vaccination.”
To find out more about flu, and to check if you are eligible for a free vaccination, please visit www.mhcc.nhs.uk/flu