Labor Calls for Free Flu Stings for Over-50s to Prevent a Second Covid-19 Wave in Combination with Influenza
Labor has urged all over-50s to receive a free flu vaccine to prevent a “perfect storm” from a winter flu outbreak and a second Covid-19 wave.
Leader Sir Keir Starmer said the government owed it to the NHS to do everything possible to prevent the two outbreaks from coinciding.
It’s as the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has warned that a revival of Covid-19 could bring the ‘NHS to a halt’ if it strikes alongside flu.
An additional 10 million doses would be needed to extend the vaccination program to those over 50, in addition to the 25 million already distributed each winter.
Sir Starmer says this is “doable”, but manufacturers have admitted that they may not meet demand in such a short time.
All people over the age of 65, pregnant women, young children and British people with serious illnesses such as asthma or heart or kidney diseases receive free flu shots.
Ministers are already considering plans to vaccinate more people against the flu, after government scientific advisers recommended it.
There is concern that the flu may overwhelm NHS hospitals, which are already at risk of being hit by a resurgence of the coronavirus later this year.
A second wave of Covid-19 is not certain, but leading scientists fear the cold weather will push things up, as with other seasonal illnesses.
While visiting Sky News while visiting University College Hospital in London, Labor leader Leader Sir Keir Starmer said, ‘We owe them [the NHS] to make sure we take preventative measures this winter. We call for vaccination for everyone over 50 ‘
Labor has urged everyone over 50 to get a free flu vaccine to avoid a ‘perfect storm’ from a winter flu outbreak and a second Covid-19 wave (stock)
Sir Starmer said he did not think a second wave was “inevitable”, but that local outbreaks – which could lead to local closures, as seen in Leicester – were “likely.”
To talk with Sky News While visiting London University College Hospital, Sir Keir praised the NHS for ‘an incredible job’ in dealing with the Covid-19 crisis.
IS A SECOND WAVE INDISPENSABLE AND WILL THIS WINTER?
Almost all scientists agree that the infection will irrevocably reoccur in a second wave without a vaccine or cure for the coronavirus.
Dr. Andrea Ammon, EU boss in the field of disease control, has warned that the virus will not disappear soon because it is “very well adapted to humans”.
She has urged Europe to prepare for a new crisis, which she said was inevitable because so few people have developed immunity to COVID-19.
In an interview with The Guardian on May 21, she said, “The question is when and how big, I think that’s the question.”
Dr. Hans Kluge, director of the WHO European Region, said he was “very concerned” that an increase in infections would coincide with other seasonal diseases such as the flu.
Speaking exclusively The Telegraph In mid-May, he warned that now is the time for “preparation, no celebration” across Europe – even if countries are showing positive signs of recovery.
Professor Hugh Pennington, microbiologist emeritus at the University of Aberdeen, has said that there is no evidence that there will be a second wave of the coronavirus, contradicting other people’s thoughts.
Scientists have repeatedly cited the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic as a sign that the world is headed for a devastating relapse in cases. But the flu is biologically completely different from the coronavirus and shouldn’t be comparable, Professor Pennington said.
But he added, “If we get the lock loosening wrong, the infection is much more likely to continue, usually in the form of local outbreaks, but no waves or spikes.”
Register The Daily Telegraph , he said, Covid-19 tends to cause clusters of cases, which bodes well for the future.
University of Edinburgh professor Mark Woolhouse said it is more likely that the UK will experience minor coronavirus outbreaks rather than a “ wave. ”
At its peak, the reproduction or RR number was between two and three, meaning each infected person passed the virus to two or three others. It’s now between 0.7 and 0.9, making it below the crucial level of one, and that’s when things get out of hand.
Professor Woolhouse, who is part of the government’s Scientific Emergency Group (Sage), said The i: “Am I afraid the R-number will crawl over one? Yes that’s me. But I’m concerned it will go back to where we were at the beginning of the first wave, no I’m not.
“There is no chance that it will be two or three again, that is far from the reality of what we could reasonably expect. I am not so much concerned about a second wave, I am concerned about a second bump.
“The only way a second wave could happen is if there was a complete lockdown collapse and everyone just gave up despite what the government said – and it’s just not going to happen.”
He said, “We owe them to make sure we take the preventative measures that will take effect this winter.
“We ask for vaccination for everyone over 50.
“It will be the perfect storm this winter if we have had an influenza outbreak at the same time and the possibility of a second spike in Covid-19 because the symptoms are very similar.”
The symptoms of coronavirus – fever, cough (usually dry), headache, muscle and joint pain, sore throat – are very similar to flu.
Protecting people from the flu and understanding that they are highly unlikely to get it would prevent them from confusing their Covid-19 symptoms for influenza.
The flu vaccine, which is redesigned each year to be specific to the flu strains expected to circulate that winter, would not protect against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19.
The goal of vaccinating more people against the flu would be to alleviate healthcare concerns.
Sir Keir said extending the vaccination program “would prevent the NHS from being stretched as they have been in recent months.”
The NHS has treated thousands of Covid-19 patients since February when the coronavirus first appeared in the UK.
It was only made possible because routine operations were canceled and the public largely stopped visiting A&E.
But if there is a major flu outbreak, it may not be possible to face the burden of patients needing hospital care for flu and Covid-19.
The Royal College of Physicians (RCP), which also calls for free flu shots for all over-50s, today believed that there was a ‘very real possibility of a second peak’ in Covid-19 stopping the ‘NHS to a shot’. in combination with flu.
It has called on the government to bring up NHS’s normal flu vaccination and social care programs, with the aim of protecting 100 percent of its workforce from last year’s 71-86 percent.
It said prisons and other institutions should also receive a special flu vaccine program.
Professor Andrew Goddard, President of the RCP, said: “With the lock being released for many this weekend, there is no time to waste making sure that the NHS and social care are prepared for the very real potential of future Covid -19 waves.
“It is crucial that we learn the lessons of the past three months and look at the additional challenges that future waves may present if they coincide with winter flu.
“NHS employees are nervous about what lies ahead and we owe them to do everything we can to make sure the system is ready to cope.”
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has said that the flu vaccination program will be “a critical part of preparing the UK for winter.”
“We are planning the flu season well in advance and further details will be announced soon,” said a spokesperson.
Flu kills an average of 8,000 people in England every year and admits thousands more to hospital.
Those who are most vulnerable – the older generations and those with weakened immune systems – are also at the greatest risk of severe Covid-19.
Last winter, 25 million people in England were offered the flu shot, with officials expanding the annual vaccination program to include all six-year-olds for the first time.
Sir Keir said that vaccinating another 10 million people between the ages of 50 and 65 in the UK was “doable”.
However, manufacturers of the lampreys have warned that with similar plans they may not be able to meet the demand of the UK and other European countries.
Sanofi, one of the top NHS flu shot suppliers every winter, warned that it would be struggling to ramp up flu shot production for the 2020-2021 season and that additional requests exceeded ‘our expected and planned delivery’.
UK-based vaccine manufacturer Seqirus, the UK’s largest flu vaccine supplier, said demand had risen significantly, but claimed it was “ on track to deliver more vaccines to the NHS than ever before. ”
In addition, experts have said that delivering the injections can be a logistical nightmare and people may need to receive their injections in pop-up operations.
A senior source who Health Service Journal described as being well placed to comment, said, “The government plans to extend the vaccine to those over 50.
“But they will struggle to buy enough vaccines for that. They probably keep announcing it because they want to make sure they can keep the promise. ‘
She added, “I have no idea how the government will keep this promise. The logistics operation required for this will be very difficult.
“There will have to be a similar system to the test system, perhaps by using parking garages and drive-through vaccinations again.”