Expansion of flu programme welcome but needs to be delivered alongside other work

17 July 2021

Responding to the announcement that the flu vaccine will be made available for over 35 million people this year, the chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson said:

"Trust leaders will welcome today's announcement which could see millions more people receiving a free flu vaccine as part of a significant expansion of our vaccination programme.

"Flu is a deadly disease which kills thousands of people every year and puts the NHS under severe pressure every winter. We are urging everyone who is eligible for a flu vaccine to come forward for one when it is their turn.

Rolling out a flu programme of this scale alongside a COVID-19 booster campaign will take a huge amount of planning, collaboration and commitment, particularly from primary care.

Chris Hopson    Chief Executive

"Rolling out a flu programme of this scale alongside a COVID-19 booster campaign will take a huge amount of planning, collaboration and commitment, particularly from primary care. It is incredibly ambitious in its scale and complexity, and while we have no doubt the NHS can meet this challenge, we do need to think about how we enable NHS staff to carry out this programme while meeting the other pressures they face.

"So we need to create a sustainable workforce approach, maximising our use of volunteers but ensuring NHS professionals can also deliver their day to day work.

"We'll be vaccinating against flu and COVID-19 for years to come so let's put our approach on a sustainable footing as soon as possible."

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