Powys Teaching Health Board has issued a call to all county residents that are eligible for either, or both, the free Influenza or COVID-19 vaccinations, to urgently take up the offer.
Mererid ‘Mezz’ Bowley, Director of Public Health, said: “As infection rates for flu and COVID-19 increase I’m appealing to every eligible individual to get their vaccinations up to date. The NHS in Wales is facing significant and sustained pressure, so we must all do all we can to avoid unnecessary hospitalisations.
“Both flu and COVID-19 are serious infections that can lead to serious illness, complications arising from the illness, and even death. Patients throughout Wales are being hospitalised due to both infections, but the effects of these diseases can be significantly reduced or avoided altogether through vaccination.
“It is not too late to act. Many of our GP surgeries and Community Pharmacies still have stocks and will continue to offer the flu vaccine to their local populations. The Health Board is also operating COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Centres in Newtown, Llandrindod Wells and Bronllys and is extending the service to also offer flu vaccinations from 9 January onwards. Meanwhile For more information, please visit our website at www.pthb.nhs.wales/keepwalessafe and follow the links on COVID-19 and flu vaccines.”
Public Health Wales’ latest monitoring data show that infection levels respiratory viruses remain significant. In Wales over the past 90 days there have been nearly 800 hospital in-patients with a confirmed Influenza infection, and sadly more than 40 patients in critical care beds. Over the same period nearly 300 hospital in-patients in Wales have a confirmed RSV infection. Data for COVID-19 infections show that more than 400 people are currently hospitalised with COVID-19 in Wales over the last rolling seven-day reporting period.
Mezz Bowley explains: “Flu is often downplayed as an infection, but it can be very serious. Those most at risk are those who are older or have a health condition and are more vulnerable to complications as a result of the flu.
“We’ve just emerged from a sustained period of socialising with our friends and loved ones, and many will now be returning to work. Please help protect yourselves and those who are most vulnerable by getting vaccinated. It is the best way to protect as many people as possible from developing serious respiratory illness this winter.”
To help stop flu and other viruses spreading, remember to ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it.’
Respiratory viruses like COVID-19 and flu can put the most vulnerable people in our communities at risk of serious illness. This winter, we can all play our part to help protect those most at risk
We’ve all become familiar with taking protective measures to help keep each other safe. Taking a few simple steps, every day, we can all help to reduce the impact of future waves of COVID-19 and help reduce the spread of all respiratory infections like flu.