The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today urged eligible Londoners to get their COVID booster and flu vaccine as soon as possible to reduce the threat of a ‘twindemic’ this winter.
Sadiq received both vaccines at a pharmacy in Tooting this morning after being invited due to his severe asthma.
The Mayor called on Londoners to book an appointment to help protect themselves, their loved ones and the NHS, as health leaders warned that the viruses could increase pressures on already stretched hospitals and other healthcare services.
COVID cases have been increasing in London with nearly 1,000 people currently in hospital, and health experts have warned that catching the potentially life-threatening viruses at the same time makes you even more likely to become seriously ill.
The NHS is offering the two vaccines across the capital with more than 400 GP surgeries, pharmacies and vaccine hubs, and is working hard to roll them out to a range of eligible Londoners, including frontline health and care workers, those aged 50 and over, as well as those who are pregnant or have underlying health conditions. Children aged between 2–14 years are being offered the flu vaccination through a nasal spray.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said, “Thanks to the success of the lifesaving COVID vaccine, our city is thankfully in a completely different place to where we were this time last year, but with winter coming it’s really important that we all remember that COVID-19 and the flu have not gone away.
“Both of these diseases can be life-threatening, and we must do all we can to protect ourselves and reduce the chances of a ‘twindemic’ adding further pressure on our hospitals and healthcare services. I urge Londoners who are eligible to take-up the offer of a flu vaccine and COVID booster as soon as possible for the good of themselves, their loved ones and the NHS.”
Dr Chris Streather, medical director for the NHS in London added, “Over half a million Londoners have already protected themselves against severe illness by getting their COVID-19 autumn booster vaccine.
“But with experts warning of the threat of COVID-19 and flu creating a ‘twindemic’ this winter, there is no time for complacency so we’re urging all eligible Londoners to get their COVID-19 and flu vaccines as soon as possible.
“If, for any reason you have not yet had your autumn booster, I would strongly urge you to come forward as soon as possible and get protected – the vaccine remains the best protection against serious illness and hospitalisation from COVID-19 this winter.”