By Tony O’Riley-
A nationwide advertising campaign launches today as part of the Uk’s government’s call to the public to get their COVID-19 booster and flu jabs, to protect themselves and their loved ones this winter.
The Uk government today announced that its multimedia campaign will run on outdoor billboards, broadcast and community radio and TV to support the national vaccine drive.
Reluctance to be vaccinate is high among ethnic communities and other sections of the calcation societies and EU residents, but a majority of the British public have been double vaccinated, according to statistics.
Over 49 million people in the UK have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, making a high 81.66% of the population, but the government want to see more people vaccinated, to reduce the potential spread of the deadly infection.
The campaign comes particularly with the oneset of the colder weather, which statistics show normally leads to increased transmission of viruses and surging number of coronavirus cases.
The higher the number of infections, the larger the number of deaths, but there is yet to be a proper assessement of the number of people who have died mainly from Covid-19, besides the group with other underlying issues- described as commorbidities.
Statistics relating to death rates from Covid-19 combines other commorbidies with the influence of Covid-19, which medics say triggers the death of those who don’tmake it.
As the number of new daily Covid cases hit 52,009 across the UK, the British government is launching an advertising campaign urging people to get their booster and flu jabs.
Experts fear an increase in flu cases coinciding with continuing or rising COVID-19 cases, but expect immunity to flu to be lower due to lower levels of the virus in circulation last winter.
The Department of Health also emphasises higher levels of protection arising from being vaccinated, but also stress that immunity reduces over time.
The waning of immunity over time makes it more crucial for vulnerable people to come forward to get their COVID-19 booster vaccine to top-up their defences and protect themselves this winter, the Department Of health And Care states.
The Department Of Health also states that protection from two doses is sufficient for those who are not eligible for a booster.
The campaign is set to be its biggest ever winter vaccine campaign for COVID-19 and flu, to reduce pressure on the NHS, and protect people and their loved ones.
The campaign television advert hits screens today and asks people to “get vaccinated, get boosted, get protected.” It features Michelle, an NHS nurse, explaining the benefits of the flu jab and COVID-19 booster vaccine. The new television advert will be seen in primetime spots alongside Emmerdale and Coronation Street as well as daytime shows such as This Morning and Loose Women.
Targeted digital channels will also carry the campaign adverts including social media platforms, digital radio and online video such as YouTube.
People will be invited for the COVID-19 booster jab when it’s their turn – if they have not been contacted within a week of reaching 6 months since their second jab they can call 119 or book online. Those who are eligible for a free flu vaccine can book an appointment through their GP surgery or local pharmacy.
The offer of a first and second COVID-19 vaccine remains open to anyone who is eligible. Vaccines are available for those aged 12 to 15 to offer the best possible protection this winter in schools, and they will also be available in vaccine centres from this weekend.
This week the country’s leading pharmacies have joined forces to encourage people to come forward and get their free flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster jab when eligible. Alongside independent pharmacists, Boots, LloydsPharmacy and Asda – who together have over 4,000 pharmacies across the UK – have backed the call for people to get vaccinated for the best possible protection this winter.
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, said:
”Our vaccine programme is building a wall of defence across the country and our booster rollout is now well underway with more than 4 million jabs in arms.
As we go into winter, it is vital that eligible people get their booster jab and their flu jab to protect themselves, their loved ones and the NHS.
This is a national mission and I’m hugely grateful to the public, volunteers and NHS workers rolling out jabs. It is fantastic to see some of our biggest high street pharmacies give their backing to the winter vaccination programme.
Vaccine confidence is high with data from the Office for National Statistics showing nearly all (94%) of those aged 50 to 69 say they would be likely to get their COVID-19 booster if offered, with the figure rising to 98% for those over 70. Similarly, over three quarters (77%) of those 50 to 69 would be likely to get the flu vaccine and nearly all (94%) of those over 70.
Dr Raj Patel, GP and Deputy National Medical Director of Primary Care for NHS England, said:
Flu is a huge killer and last year GPs and pharmacists jabbed record numbers of people and as we head into what could be one of the most challenging winters yet for the NHS, it has never been more important to get your flu and COVID booster jab.
Flu has a serious impact on the health of thousands of people every winter and it has never been easier to ensure you are protected, so I would urge everyone to book an appointment directly with you GP or pharmacist as soon as possible.
Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation, UK Health Security Agency, said:
”This is the first winter when COVID-19 and seasonal flu are expected to be circulating together, putting more lives at risk. Vaccinations are important to protect against both diseases.
Please book an appointment if you are eligible for the flu vaccine, or get your COVID-19 booster as soon as you are invited – which is due 6 months after a second dose.
Michelle, Nurse who features in the advert, said:
”As a frontline worker for the NHS, I’ve seen first-hand the devastating impact both COVID and flu can have in winter. Vaccines offer the best protection and I hope this campaign drives home to the importance of coming forward for your vaccine.
GP and TV doctor, Dr Dawn Harper, said:
”It’s really important that if you are eligible to take up the offer for the different vaccinations – this is both the flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster – you do so.
Thousands of people die from the flu each year and this year we’re expecting high levels to circulate as we head into winter. With the added threat of further COVID-19 and our immunity wavering, it’s so vital that people get protected against both these deadly viruses.
This is a huge drive and we need everyone do their part by protecting themselves, and those around them. You can get your COVID-19 booster and flu vaccinations at vaccination centres, GPs or community pharmacists so please, make sure to book your appointment as soon as you’re invited”.