Wales will extend the expanded flu vaccination programme for another year, its Government has announced.
For a second year running, all over-50s will remain eligible for free flu jabs, alongside secondary school children, with £7.85m to be allocated to health boards to reach both cohorts.
Along with usual cohorts, this means more than 1.5 million people will be eligible for a free jab, the Welsh Government said.
The Welsh Government said high uptake will be crucial to reduce hospitalisations during a time when NHS and social care may also be managing a winter outbreak of Covid.
It also said flu jabs could be co-administered with Covid vaccines if another booster campaign does launch this autumn, as per preliminary advice from the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
In England, the flu programme will revert to normal this year – targeting over-65s and patients in risk groups – having been extended to over-50s for the past two years due to the Covid pandemic.
Welsh health minister Eluned Morgan said: ‘Here in Wales we feel it’s important that we continue to protect as many people as possible from flu and I’m pleased to confirm we will once again rollout an extended flu programme.
‘Covid has not gone away and our NHS is still very much recovering from the pandemic, ensuring as many people are protected from the flu will not only help individuals and their communities but also protect our NHS. I would encourage eligible people to take up the offer.’