Rishi has launched the local 2020 flu vaccination service at a Bedale pharmacy.
With winter looming, the free vaccinations are available at community pharmacies to those who qualify – the over 65s, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions such as asthma and diabetes.
Mr Sunak visited Mills Pharmacy at North End, Bedale, to find out about preparations for this year’s campaign.
The pharmacy has launched its annual service offering both free NHS vaccinations, and a private vaccination for those not eligible on the NHS.
The pharmacy is offering vaccinations during normal opening hours with no appointment necessary,
The NHS has warned that as COVID-19 will be co-circulating with flu, protecting those at high risk of flu, who are also those most vulnerable to hospitalisation as a result of COVID-19, is vitally important.
Peter Horrocks, Superintendent Pharmacist at Mills, said: “The flu virus can be particularly harmful over the winter months, yet it can be so easily prevented by receiving your annual vaccination. It is vitally important for the elderly and those who we deem as being of high clinical risk to receive their NHS vaccination every year.”
During his visit the MP for Richmond (Yorks) took advantage of the service and paid for and received his annual vaccination in the pharmacy.
Mr Sunak, whose mother ran a community pharmacy, said: “I have a great passion for community pharmacy and the ease of access it provides to our local communities. I would encourage anyone who is eligible to get their jab.”
Mr Horrocks added: “We would like to thank Rishi for taking time from his busy schedule to visit our pharmacy and highlight the importance of not only receiving the flu vaccine but doing it early before the busy winter period sets in.”
This year the flu vaccine is being offered on the NHS to:
- adults 65 and over
- people with certain medical conditions (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months of age)
- pregnant women
- people living with someone who's at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
- children aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2020
- children in primary school
- children in year 7 (secondary school)
- frontline health or social care workers
Later in the year, the flu vaccine may be given to people aged 50 to 64. More information will be available later in the autumn.