As flu season approaches, volunteers and employees of charities and community organisations in Solihull are being encouraged to have their flu jab before December.
NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), in partnership with Age UK Solihull, are running an initiative called ‘Keeping people well’.
The CCG is providing £10,000 to ensure that the people who do an excellent job in supporting the work of the NHS, and social care, receive vital protection against flu this winter.
This means that people working in the voluntary sector in Solihull, who are not already eligible to receive a free vaccine from the NHS, will be able to claim back the cost of their flu jab from the organisation that they work with. This is as simple as going to a local pharmacy, having a flu jab and keeping the receipt.
Anne Hastings, Chief Executive Officer at Age UK Solihull said: “Volunteers and employees of charities and community organisations are very often on the frontline. They work with some of the most vulnerable people in our community, so it is incredibly important that we are able to protect them, and the people that they help, from becoming unwell this winter.”
Dr John Davenport, a GP from Solihull, also welcomed the initiative: “We recognise the very important role that local volunteers and community organisations play, in supporting people to stay in their homes and out of hospital over the winter months.
“It is important that we all take responsibility to protect ourselves, and others, against the flu virus. For maximum protection, the best time to get your jab is between the beginning of October and the end of November, although the vaccine will still be available after this.”
Solihull Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, Councillor Karen Grinsell, said: “I am really pleased that for the first time we will be offering free flu vaccinations for the voluntary sector across Solihull. Not only will it protect those having the vaccine from serious illness but also the large community they work with. It is a fantastic offer and really demonstrates integrated working across the health and social care, and the voluntary sector.”
This scheme is available to people who volunteer, or work, in the voluntary sector in Solihull. Specifically those who carry out work that supports the NHS and social care. To check your eligibility, please speak to the organisation that you work with.
A free NHS flu vaccine is also available every year to eligible people, to help protect them from risk of flu and its complications.
Flu can be serious and is very different to the common cold; it can even be life threatening if you’re in an at-risk group.
You are entitled to a free flu vaccine if you:
- Are 65 years of age or over
- Are pregnant, no matter how many weeks
- Have certain medical conditions (e.g. asthma, COPD, bronchitis, diabetes multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, heart, liver or kidney disease)
- Are living in a long-stay residential care home, or other long-stay care facility
- Receive a carer's allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill.
Anyone in these groups is urged to visit their GP, local pharmacy or talk to their midwife about having their free flu vaccination.
More information and advice about flu is available on the NHS website.