Tesco launches campaign, supported by leading charities, to boost uptake of flu jab and help save lives

Tesco Pharmacy, British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK and Cancer Research UK, through their “Helping you to live healthier” Partnership, have joined forces to encourage more people to protect themselves and their families, and continue to do their bit for the NHS, by getting the flu jab.

For people with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, the flu can be deadly. The flu jab was associated with a 50% reduction in mortality during flu season for people living with type 2 diabetes, according to research carried out over a seven-year period .

For people with heart and circulatory diseases, having the flu vaccine cuts the risk of a heart attack by 27% and of dying by 25% . Data shows that in the winter of 2019/20, there were around 6,600 excess deaths from heart and circulatory diseases in the UK, with flu likely to be a contributing factor .

To help more people access the vaccination, Tesco Pharmacy is operating an online booking system so customers can book a slot at a time that suits them. With longer opening hours than many GP surgeries and high-street pharmacies, customers can get vaccinated at a time that fits around their schedule including evenings and weekends or even combine it with their weekly shop.

The flu jab can be booked online now and is available in Tesco Pharmacy stores from September. It’s free for groups that are eligible for a free NHS flu jab, and is available for £9 for those who are not.

The safety of colleagues and customers remains Tesco’s number one priority and there are extensive Covid-19 safety and social distancing measures in place to ensure that customers feel safe while using this service. The flu jab will be given by a Tesco Pharmacist in a private consultation room that is cleaned before each appointment.

Adrian Price, Tesco Superintendent Pharmacist said: “We want to make getting your vaccination as easy as doing the weekly shop.

“We’re doing all we can to make it as convenient as possible for people to get their flu jab to protect themselves and their families. This is the most important flu jab ever for those at risk.”

Maureen Talbot, Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation speaking on behalf of the Helping you to live healthier partnership, said: “People with conditions including heart disease, diabetes and many cancers are at increased risk of severe illness if they get the flu. This year, the presence of COVID-19 adds to that risk, so it’s even more important that people get vaccinated.

“We’d encourage everyone with a qualifying health condition to take up a free flu jab. Getting the jab will ensure you’re protecting yourself as well as playing your part in helping to ease pressure on the NHS at an extremely busy time.”

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