Free flu vaccinations for Rugby’s rough sleepers

An innovative new programme will see Rugby’s rough sleepers offered vaccinations against flu free of charge.

A trained immunisation nurse will attend shelters and centres of support in each district and borough to deliver flu vaccinations to the people receiving help there.

Flu vaccinations are already offered to up to one in three Warwickshire residents free of charge, including pregnant women, people over 65 and carers. The inclusion of people who are rough sleeping is a further step towards ensuring residents of the county are supported to be as safe and healthy as possible.

Cllr Emma Crane, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for Communities and Homes, said:

The flu vaccine helps to protect against the most common flu strains, reducing their spread and potentially saving lives.

It is right that we do what we can to help protect our most vulnerable residents alongside our work to tackle the causes of homelessness.”

This new announcement comes as part of a larger programme of work to address homelessness in Warwickshire. Earlier in 2018, WCC pledged £300,000 to work in partnership to help tackle this challenge. District and borough councils, the police, charities and service providers are amongst those working together to build a collaborative approach to tackling homelessness."

Councillor Les Caborn, WCC Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing, said: “I’m very pleased we’re able to roll out this initiative. Obviously we don’t want anybody to be sleeping rough but we have to be realistic and make sure that people who have the potential to be in that position are protected. When the weather gets colder people sleeping rough are in a particularly vulnerable position, and something as simple as a flu vaccination could make a big difference to someone’s quality of life through the winter.”

In September, the partners met for the first Countywide Approach to Homelessness Prevention conference in Dunchurch, discussing the current picture of homelessness in Warwickshire, the government’s take on the wider national problem, and the causes and contributors to homelessness such as domestic violence, family breakdown and the termination of assured shorthold tenancies.

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