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Serious rise in critical flu cases with winter vaccinations urged on landmark day

Published on 08/12/2022

In the first eight days of December, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) is on trajectory to see more cases of flu than during October and November combined and now has three patients receiving intensive treatment in its critical care units due to the virus.

UHB also continues to see significant numbers of patients with COVID, with over 200 patients in hospital with the virus.

On the second anniversary of the first COVID vaccination, we’re urging anyone, particularly NHS staff and any member of the public in a vulnerable group, such as those with a long term chronic condition or women who are pregnant, to have their flu or COVID-19 booster vaccinations today.

Both vaccinations are proven to be safe and effective and will work to keep you well this winter.

Both flu and COVID-19 vaccines offer the best protection from the latest variants of both viruses – viruses that in Birmingham and Solihull we know well to have horrendous consequences for not only vulnerable people, but those who are ordinarily fit and well.

Margaret Garbett, Chief Nurse, UHB,  said: “Flu cases are rising, and worryingly we are seeing serious cases, including in young people, who are now receiving critical care in our hospitals.

“The numbers of flu cases we are seeing is significant, with three patients who don’t fit into a vulnerable category, requiring intensive treatment.

“We know all too well how difficult these conditions are and how sick they can make anyone, not just the vulnerable, and I want our hospital, community and wider NHS teams, in addition to our patients and the public, to stay as safe and as well as possible.

“It has been two years since the first COVID-19 vaccine was given to Margaret Keenan in Coventry, this was a landmark moment that turned the tide of a pandemic that devastated much of what we all love; our families, our freedoms.

“On this landmark day, please help to protect yourself and those you care for – whether they’re at home, in the hospital, or in our communities; having both vaccines makes all of us safer at a special time of year when we’re seeing more of our families, friends and loved ones.

“Both the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu jab offer the best protection from COVID and they can be safely administered at the same time.

“I’d also like to thank all of my colleagues across UHB for everything you are doing during these exceptionally challenging times.

“I’d like to reassure all of my colleagues that vaccination not only helps to maximise yours and our patients safety, it helps to boost our resilience and drive to maintain our hard won progress to deliver the best possible care for patients. I know this has required a relentless effort, but vaccination helps us all to continue moving forwards. Jabs do indeed save lives.”

UHB colleagues can find out how to get their vaccination today, or register a vaccination provided elsewhere, on the UHB staff winter vaccination website.

Members of the public in our communities can find out more about vaccination in Birmingham and Solihull on the Birmingham and Solihull vaccination website.

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