Tens of thousands of Wigan residents have already had flu jab this winter
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Despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, GP practices and community pharmacies have been able to vaccinate more people quicker than before.
More than 77 per cent of people aged 65 and over have already had the jab, putting the borough above the national target of 75 per cent months earlier than normal.
It is thought to be particularly important for people in this age group to have the vaccine so they remain fit and well and ready to fight coronavirus if they need to.
People are still being encouraged to have the jab, with everyone aged 50 to 64 now able to book an appointment.
Health chiefs want people to get vaccinated sooner rather than later, ahead of the rollout of a coronavirus vaccine.
Dr Tim Dalton, chairman of NHS Wigan Borough CCG, said: “It has been a particularly challenging year to deliver the flu vaccination programme so I am overwhelmed by the response by GP practices, pharmacies and patients.
“This has enabled us to vaccinate more people, quicker than ever before.
“However, we aren’t there yet. There are still lots of people across the age ranges who are eligible for a flu vaccine, but haven’t yet had one. I ask you to please contact your GP practice or local pharmacy to arrange it and help us to keep you safe and well.”
There is still time for eligible people to have the vaccine. This includes: people with a learning disability; those on the NHS shielded patient list and anyone who lives with them; pregnant women; carers; health and social care staff; children aged two and three, all those in primary school and in year seven at high school; care home residents and staff; and people with a long-term health condition like diabetes, a heart problem, a chest complaint or breathing difficulties, kidney disease, liver disease, a neurological condition, had a stroke or a TIA, have lowered immunity due to disease or treatment.
These people may not feel they are particularly vulnerable, but it is likely they will suffer from it more severely if they catch flu and are more likely to have complications.
For some groups, like carers and older children, the vaccine can stop the spread to more vulnerable people.
From this week, all people aged 50 to 64 can book a flu vaccine with their GP practice or community pharmacy.
While most GP surgeries do not yet have the extra vaccine in stock, health chiefs are confident they will get it from the national supply soon.
Preparations are being made for a national coronavirus testing site in Wigan. Tests at the walk-through centre will available via the national portal and 119.
Staff at the current site on Chapel Lane are retraining to carry out the testing. An opening date has not yet been set.
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