Health chief Jenny Harries says people are TWICE as likely to die if they have coronavirus and flu at the same time compared to just Covid as she urges those eligible to get both vaccines
- Dr Jenny Harries said UK is facing ‘uncertain winter’ because of flu and Covid-19
- She said it is first time there will be large amounts of both diseases in circulation
- Said catching both means ‘you are twice as likely to die’ versus just having Covid
- She said the ‘real trick’ is for all eligible people to get flu and coronavirus jabs
People are twice as likely to die if they have coronavirus and flu at the same time as opposed to only having Covid-19, one of the UK’s leading health bosses has said.
Dr Jenny Harries, the head of the UK Health Security Agency, said the UK is facing an ‘uncertain winter’ because of the potential for people to catch both diseases.
She said the winter of 2021 will be the first time that flu has co-circulated in ‘real numbers’ alongside Covid-19.
She said the ‘real trick here is to get vaccinated’ as he urged people who are eligible to get both the Covid and flu jabs.
Dr Jenny Harries, the head of the UK Health Security Agency, said the UK is facing an ‘uncertain winter’ because of the potential for people to catch both diseases
Asked on Sky News how worried people should be about flu this winter, Ms Harries said: ‘Well, we should be worried about flu each winter.
‘I think people still don’t realise it can be a fatal disease and recent figures suggest that about 25 per cent of us don’t actually understand that and over the last five years about 11,000 have died with flu-related conditions.
‘But I think an important thing about this winter is we are likely to see flu for the first time in any real numbers co-circulating with Covid.
‘So the risks of catching both together still remain and if you do that, early evidence suggests that you are twice as likely to die from having two together than just having Covid alone.
‘So I think it is an uncertain winter ahead. It’s not a prediction, it’s an uncertain feature but we do think that flu numbers have been lower in the previous year so immunity and the strength types are a little more uncertain.’
Explaining that this year’s flu could be made up of different strains, she said the vaccine being offered this winter is designed to protect against four of those.
She said: ‘We’ve got a pretty good array in our toolbox to try and hit whichever one becomes dominant but it could be more than one this year, and people’s immunity will be lower.
Ms Harries said the ‘real trick here is to get vaccinated’ as he urged people who are eligible to get both the Covid and flu jabs. A vaccination centre in north London is pictured on October 3
‘So I think the real trick here is to get vaccinated – in both Covid and flu – but obviously to continue to do those good hygiene behaviours that we’ve been practising all through Covid.’
The flu vaccine is available to people who are aged 50 and over as well as to those with certain health conditions.
The coronavirus booster vaccine is available to people aged 50 and over who have had a second dose of a Covid-19 jab at least six months ago.
Source: Read Full Article