Mon. Aug 8th, 2022

Health Director Jenny Harries says people are twice as likely to die if they have coronavirus and flu at the same time as Covid, as she urges those eligible to receive both vaccines

  • Dr Jenny Harries said Britain is facing ‘uncertain winter’ due to flu and Covid-19
  • She said this is the first time that there will be large amounts of both diseases in circulation
  • Said to capture both means ‘you are twice as likely to die’ as opposed to just having Covid
  • She said the ‘right trick’ is for all eligible people to get flu and coronavirus infections


People are twice as likely to die if they have coronavirus and influenza at the same time as opposed to only having covid-19, one of Britain’s leading health chiefs has said.

Dr. Jenny Harries, head of the UK Health Security Agency, said the UK was facing an ‘unsafe winter’ because of the potential for humans to catch both diseases.

She said the winter of 2021 will be the first time the flu has co-circulated in ‘real numbers’ along with Covid-19.

She said the ‘real trick here is to get vaccinated’ when he called on people who are eligible to get both covid and flu.

Dr Jenny Harries, head of the UK Health Agency, said the UK was facing an 'unsafe winter' due to the potential for humans to catch both diseases

Dr Jenny Harries, head of the UK Health Agency, said the UK was facing an ‘unsafe winter’ due to the potential for humans to catch both diseases

Asked on Sky News how worried people should be about the flu this winter, Mrs Harries said: ‘Well, we need to be worried about the flu every winter.

‘I think people are still unaware that it can be a deadly disease, and recent figures suggest that around 25 per cent of us do not actually understand it, and over the last five years around 11,000 died of influenza-related conditions.

‘But I think one important thing about this winter is that we’re likely to see the flu for the first time in a real number circulating with Covid.

‘So the risk of catching both together is still there, and if you do, early evidence suggests that you’re twice as likely to die from having two together than just having Covid alone.

‘So I think it’s an uncertain winter ahead. It is not a prediction, it is an uncertain function, but we believe that the number of influenza has been lower in the previous year, so immunity and the types of strength are a little more uncertain. ‘

Explaining that this year’s flu could consist of different strains, she said the vaccine offered this winter is designed to protect against four of them.

She said: ‘We have a pretty good selection in our toolbox to try to hit the one that will be dominant, but it could be more than one this year and people’s immunity will be lower.

Mrs Harries said the 'real trick here is to get vaccinated' when he called on people who are eligible to get both covid and flu.  A vaccination center in north London has been pictured on 3 October

Mrs Harries said the ‘real trick here is to get vaccinated’ when he called on people who are eligible to get both covid and flu. A vaccination center in north London has been pictured on 3 October

‘So I think the real trick here is to get vaccinated – both in covid and flu – but of course to continue to perform the good hygiene behavior that we have practiced all the way through Covid.’

The flu vaccine is available for people aged 50 and over as well as for people with certain health conditions.

The Corona booster vaccine is available for people aged 50 and over who have received a second dose of a Covid-19 jab at least six months ago.

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