A woman sitting in bed under a duvet blowing her nose

Everyone has determined immense relinquishes to fetch COVID-1 9 under control.

The entire country is reflecting on what has been achieved in suppressing the virus and getting to a time where we can start to regain some normality.

We have learned important lessons from responding to the COVID-1 9 pandemic and there is a brilliant opportunity to ensure these assignments can be applied in the future, with the scale and capability needed to save lives and protect us all and with the rapid and innovative ways of working we have developed together.

COVID-1 9 has downed so much better of our attention for the last 18 months hitherto there remain many other serious threats that stretch our health and social care services every year.

Right now, to ensure we plan for these as well as for the continuing pandemic, our attention is on autumn and wintertime, ensuring we prepare for the challenges this will bring as well as continuously observing through the summer for’ unseasonal’ spikes in illness we would usually witness later in the year.


In particular, we are worried about flu. Like COVID-1 9, flu is a dangerous virus that kills thousands of people a year and hospitalises many more, exert pressure on our health and social care services as well as make bereavement to categories and loved ones.

Flu is unreliable and the rates of flu vary each year. The number of deaths we see from flu-related complications each winter season can also vary significantly from year to time. For instance, in 2014/15, a bad influenza year, there were 28,000 demises. The type of flu that is in circulation and how readily it delivers from one person to another also varies.

The limiteds that were in place over the autumn and winter of 2020/ 21 have means that we didn’t ascertain much flu moving last-place season. We therefore thankfully shunned the double threat of flu and COVID-1 9 moving at the same time, which could have had disastrous consequences for individuals and for our state and attend system.

However, worryingly this may mean that more parties are susceptible to the illness this year, potentially leading to a challenging influenza season for our NHS peers and our health protection squads across the country.

This, combined with the likelihood of continuing circulation of COVID-1 9, wants this coming winter will again be highly erratic. Planning is already under way to ensure we are well prepared for a worst-case scenario and to limit the impact on the NHS.

Vaccination programme

The flu vaccine is safe, effective and protects millions of parties each year from what can be a destructive illness.

That is why, as part of our commitment to build back better from the pandemic, this year England’s world-leading seasonal flu immunisation programme is being expanded even further.

We have announced that a record number of children and adults will be offered the flu vaccine- over 35 million people in total- with every young person in years 7 to 11 in secondary school now eligible for the first time, building on the expansion of the vaccine programme to Year 7 children last-place winter.

England’s world guiding influenza program achieved record take up last year, a testament to the resilience of the NHS and to the public’s determination to protect themselves and others during a wintertime of unprecedented challenges.

This coming season, the health system is determined to build on this fantastic achievement, alongside the staggering success of our COVID-1 9 vaccination curriculum, to ensure more of the population than ever get protected against flu.

We will be closely watching the data from tribulations got to make sure the flu punch can be given alongside the COVID-1 9 vaccines, following the interim recommendations from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation( JCVI) on delivering a COVID-1 9 inoculation booster program from September for those in the more vulnerable groups.

Getting vaccinated against both viruses will not only help to protect us and our loved ones from influenza and COVID-1 9 but will help protect the person from a potentially ravaging doubled menace this winter.


Another infection that we are concerned about as we approach autumn is Respiratory Syncytial Virus( RSV ).

RSV is a common seasonal wintertime virus which causes coughs and coldness and is the most common cause of bronchiolitis in children aged under 2 years It can be more severe in premature children, babes under 2 months of age and prone babies with particular underlying requirements that increase their risk of acute lower respiratory tract infection.

A graphic explaining who might suffer from more serious illness from Respiratory Syncytial Virus. Premature babies, babies under 2 months, vulnerable infants with certain underlying conditions that increase their risk of acute lower respiratory tract infection.

The RSV season in the UK frequently begins in the autumn, earlier than the adult influenza season, and flows through winter.

During the last year there has been a remarkable reduction in respiratory viral illness other than COVID-1 9. This means that there is an increasing number of young children who have never been exposed to these common viruses.

As limiteds easy and beings desegregate more, we are expecting to see a significant rise in the full amounts of the number of RSV the circumstances and admissions.

We are working closely with the NHS and peers across the health system to monitor this closely, as well as ensuring that mothers, carers and health professionals are aware of the symptoms of RSV and know what to do if they are concerned.

Finally, let’s remember that we can and must all play our proportion to reduce the impact of infectious disease on someones, their families and their communities and simultaneously to reduce the pressure on health and social care and other community service this coming winter, so everyone can continue to receive the support they need.

The good cleanlines wonts that we have become used to in the COVID-1 9 pandemic are important defenses against a variety of other illness, including flu and RSV. We should continue to practice them.

This includes washing our hands regularly for 20 seconds, using a tissue to catch coughs and sneezes and remaining away from others when feeling unwell.

Read more: publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk