BETSI Cadwaladr University Health Board has reported the largest ever uptake of flu vaccinations in its communities across North Wales.
Since this season’s campaign started in September 2020, 294,700 people have had their jab to date, which represents an increase in all eligible groups on previous years.
With the Covid-19 vaccination programme also now well underway, the health board has used this achievement to plan large scale vaccination campaigns.
Teresa Owen, executive director of Public Health, said: “This is a significant achievement in the effort to keep the public safe against this other potentially serious, and even deadly virus.
“Everyone involved in the delivery of this year’s flu campaign has worked so hard to meet the increased targets. Our vaccinators, GP practices, community pharmacies, and school nurses have done a fantastic job, particularly when taking into account the added pressures of delivery due to Covid-19 safety measures.
“This also demonstrates our ability to deliver large scale immunisation campaigns, which is so important as we are now really stepping up our Covid-19 vaccination campaign.”
At the beginning of the flu season, the Welsh Government announced its biggest ever vaccination programme in Wales, increasing targets in all ‘at-risk’ groups with the aim of minimising the potential impact of Flu co-circulating with Covid-19.
Thanks to the support from GP and pharmacy partners, BCUHB exceeded the 75 per cent target for vaccinating the over 65’s in all six counties across North Wales, with Anglesey and Flintshire being two out of the three local authority areas in Wales that exceeded 80 per cent uptake.
Primary school children also saw a large increase of numbers being vaccinated, exceeding the 75 per cent target across all year groups, an increase of 7.9 per cent on last year.
This year saw a positive uptake among health care staff with more than 12,500 having the vaccination.
Jo Whitehead, chief executive of BCUHB, said: “We want to say thank you to the public and our staff for coming forward and having the flu jab this winter, and to all health staff involved in delivering it. Vaccinations are so important in the fight to keep the people of North Wales protected.”
There are still plenty of stocks available, including for those in the newly introduced group of 50-64 years of age.
The campaign will continue until the end of March.
To find out more about eligibility for the flu jab, click here.