The jab is normally given out to protect older people and those deemed at risk from the seasonal flu.
This year health bosses are also planning for the prospect of a surge in COVID-19 cases over the winter months by increasing availability of the jab to save lives and ease the burden on hospitals and the NHS.
Research suggests a double infection with COVID-19 and the flu is more deadly than either condition on its own. Also, the government is also looking to protect NHS and care how workers from become ill with the flu in case they need to respond in a similar manner to the peak in the spring.
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In response, the NHS flu programme will be offered to 30 million people. This will include people aged over 50 as well people shielding from coronavirus as well as those who live with them. Additionally, pre-school children over the age of two, all primary school children as last year, and first year secondary school pupils will also be included. Pregnant women will also be given the chance to have the flu vaccine.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he wants “everyone to have a flu jab in the run up to this winter” to “protect the NHS in the winter months because we’ve still got COVID and the threat of a second spike of COVID, and its vital therefore to keep that pressure off the NHS by everybody getting a flu jab”.
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People who are eligible for the flu vaccine will be contacted.
There is no news yet from Wales and Northern Ireland about the winter flu vaccine, but the Scottish government has said it was “examining the best options” for expanding eligibility.