Disabled children entitled to free flu jab this winter


New analysis by Public Health England highlights the increased risk of having coronavirus with flu. Contact is working closely with NHS England and others to promote flu jabs to families of disabled children and young people to increase uptake and ensure vaccinations are accessible. 

NHS England has significantly expanded the flu vaccination programme, aiming to vaccinate more than 30 million "at risk" and vulnerable people this winter to ease pressure on health services during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

And last summer NHS England wrote to all GPs urging them to identify everyone on their register who has a learning disability and 'proactively arrange' their flu vaccinations and Annual Health Checks. 

Contact urges families to make sure they know flu jab arrangements

Amanda Elliot, Contact's strategic health lead, urges families to make sure their young person with learning disabilities is on their GP's learning disability register and to Contact your GP surgery if you don't hear about flu jab arrangements soon. 

Amanda also encourages families to ask the practice to make reasonable adjustments to enable their young person to attend:

"Sadly, we already we know too many people with learning disabilities die much earlier than others because doctors may miss their underlying health problems or because they struggle to attend GP appointments.  

"Getting an annual flu jab is one way to make sure young people with learning disabilities stay well and healthy. This is particularly important as new evidence suggests having both Covid and the flu is even more dangerous for vulnerable people.

"We want to remind families that they can request that their GP Practice makes reasonable adjustments if their young person struggles to attend the surgery or receive the vaccine," she added.

Who's eligible for a flu jab?

All children aged 2-11 are eligible for a flu jab, along with all children aged 2-17 who have a long-term health condition.

Primary school age children and children in year seven of secondary school will get their flu jab at school, so look out for the consent forms.

Home educated children can be vaccinated in community health clinics. Children with long term conditions can  opt to have their flu jab at their GP surgery.

Carers, including parent-carers, are eligible for the free flu jab if they receive Carer's Allowance or are the main carer for a disabled person who may be at risk.  

You can also get a free jab if you live with someone who's at high risk from coronavirus on the NHS shielded patient list.

Read the full article here.