Responding to NHS England's announcement that the flu and covid vaccine programmes will be brought forward due to the risk of a new covid variant, Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said:
“Bringing the vaccine programme forward is a sensible measure. It will help protect the most vulnerable patients this winter and reduce pressure on the NHS.
“While at this stage it is unclear how much of a risk the new BA.2.86 variant poses, vaccinations are the best defence against covid. NHS leaders would encourage all who are eligible to take up the offer, as well as get their flu jab.”