AS MANY people as possible in Fermanagh are being urged to get this year’s flu vaccine, with fears the local health service will struggle to cope with the double whammy of a flu outbreak and a second wave of Covid this winter.
In fact, the public have been warned evidence suggests that catching both the flu and Covid-19 at the same time doubles the risk of death.
Fermanagh may still have the lowest number of Covid infections in the North, with only two confirmed cases in the past week. However, localised outbreaks elsewhere in the North, and a ever increasing rise in the infection rate overall, has lead some to believe the feared ‘second wave’ is now inevitable.
Local GP Dr Brendan O’Hare said by getting the flu vaccine this year you will not only be protecting yourself but you will also “make the entire community’s lives easier” by “keeping flu incidence really low” and thus allowing the local health service to concentrate on dealing with the virus pandemic.
“I would strongly urge people to come and get their jag. If you have never got it before, please get it done this year,” said Dr O’Hare who said a “massive” public health campaign was planned for the coming months to ensure as many people get the jab as possible.
“Our service will not cope with a big flu outbreak and a resurgence of Covid. We can’t differentiate between the two,” he said.
Dr O’Hare added: “There is evidence if you get flu and Covid, you’re twice as likely to die. So if you have never taken it before, take it this time.”
Those who are at greater risk from the effects of flu are particularly urged to get vaccinated. This includes pregnant women, those over 65 even if they are fit and healthy, those living in residential care or a nursing home. Those living with certain medical conditions are also urged to get the jag, and should check with their GP.
Plans are currently being drawn up by local GP practices regarding the safe roll out of this year’s flu vaccine. Keep an eye on the Herald for further details on this in the coming months.
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