"I have been shielding for the past 6 months but thought it was important to come out for the flu jab."
We have just launched a campaign to support older Londoners, including those most at risk from flu and Covid-19, with information on the benefits of the flu vaccine and how it can be accessed.
The campaign will place additional focus on targeting the boroughs in North West London because vaccine uptake is especially low, as well as BAMER older Londoners.
We recently spoke to Arvind, the face of our campaign who has been shielding since March, to ask about his thoughts on the flu jab and why this year is even more important than ever.
What are your thoughts on the flu jab? Have they changed in light of the current situation?
'Last year, I found that there were not many comments and interest but this year the response seems much better. I have heard that they have posters up at GP surgeries and churches in my neighbourhood so I think the campaign must be successful.
I have been shielding for the past 6 months but thought it was important to come out for the flu jab, even if it was very strange walking to the practice! I felt safe the entire time: I didn’t see anyone on my way there, and at the practice nobody was there apart from the staff.
I have been encouraging my friends and pretty much everyone I speak to go and get it through their GP or at the pharmacy.'
Is there anything you feel needs to be talked about more?
'I think it is really important for BAME people to go and get the flu jab, especially in light of the recent Covid-19 studies.
My other concern is what happens to people who don’t have a mobile phone and can’t receive a text for appointments? GP surgeries should make time to contact people directly via their landline. This is a suggestion from personal experience but I think it could be one way of encouraging older isolated people more.'
Download our flu vaccine toolkit
Our flu vaccine toolkit has all the facts and figures about the flu virus, the flu vaccine, and will give you all the resources to run a flu vaccine information session yourself.