Influenza: Coronavirus

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 1st July 2020.

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Photo of Catherine West Catherine West Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans the Government has put in place to avoid a flu epidemic at the same time as managing the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Holding answer received on 17 June 2020

The Government has taken unprecedented action to support the health and care system to respond to COVID-19 and help to ensure that services were not overwhelmed.

The Government will continue to support health and care services and is working with the National Health Service, Public Health England, local government and other key stakeholders on planning, to take account of the risk this winter of seasonal influenza cocirculating with COVID-19.

The flu vaccination programme will be a critical part of preparing the United Kingdom for winter, and to manage pressures on the NHS should we have co-circulation of seasonal flu and COVID-19 this winter.

On 14 May we published the Annual Flu letter 2020/21, available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/885281/The_national_flu_immunisation_programme_2020_to_2021.pdf

This indicated the main groups who are most at risk of flu and its complications, who are eligible for free flu vaccination so they are protected over the winter months.

We are planning for the flu season well in advance and further details will be published soon.

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