BY JACOB PAUL
Nearly 150,000 people visited their GP or local pharmacy for a flu jab in the first few weeks of a vaccination drive.
The first five weeks of the roll-out saw 95,000 people vaccinated at GP surgeries at an average rate of 19,000 in south west London.
A further 45,000 people were vaccinated at a community pharmacist, and 9,500 NHS staff had the jab.
Thousands more have been vaccinated than at the same time last year where 140,000 people got the flu jab in the first nine weeks of the programme at an average weekly rate of around 15,500.
Dr Andrew Murray, Merton GP and Clinical Chair at NHS South West London Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It’s great news that 150,000 people in south west London have already had their jab, including those with long-term health conditions and small children, because with Covid-19 circulating widely, it is more important than ever for those most at risk to get vaccinated.
“It means we’re ahead of schedule with our programme and with more supplies on the way there is enough flu vaccine to go round before the flu season starts so I would urge anyone who is eligible for a free jab to continue to come forward and get booked in – it’s really important, not only to protect yourself but also your family and your friends.”
The news comes after the government announced it was expanding the number of people eligible for a free vaccination, with around 500,000 expected to be offered a free jab in south west London.
Some surgeries have offered drive through options in their car parks or used local community buildings and people in Croydon have used drive through clinics at IKEA and Crystal Palace Football Club.
The flu vaccine is available every year on the NHS to help protect adults and children at risk from flu and its complications.
More information is available on the NHS website – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/
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