RECORD numbers of people across the region are being offered the flu vaccine as research shows those infected with flu and Covid-19 were more likely to die.
The information from Public Health England revealed between January and April those infected with both illnesses were more at risk of severe illness and death.
Most cases were in older people and more than half of them died.
Across the country the free vaccine will be offered to more than 30million people – the highest number on record.
It includes all primary school children and Year 7 children.
Vulnerable adults including pregnant women and those over the age of 65 will be offered the jab first.
It will also be offered to household contacts of people on the NHS Shielded Patient List and all health and all social care workers who have direct contact with the people they care for.
Later in the season 50 to 64 year olds will also be offered the jab.
In a bid to increase uptake a media campaign will be ran, and to help cope with demand pharmacists will be able to vaccinate residents and care home staff.
Consultant in communicable disease control at Public Health England West Midlands, James Chipwete said: “Do not underestimate the seriousness of flu. It can be deadly. Getting a flu jab not only protects you, but also protects those around you from flu and other secondary infections and complications.
“We know the flu vaccine is safe and effective. This year protecting yourself against flu is even more important because Covid-19 rates are increasing. There is a risk of severe infection and complications arising from being infected with coronavirus and flu at the same time, particularly for people in an at-risk group. I strongly urge eligible individuals to take up the offer of this free flu vaccine.”