• Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

People urged to get Covid and flu jabs this winter

Byoxfordnewspaper

Sep 28, 2022

Millions are being urged to get their flu and covid vaccines after experts said they were increasingly worried about a bad flu spike this winter.

It comes as officials at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) warned there will be lower levels of natural immunity to flu this year after a few winters when people socialised far less due to the Covid pandemic.

One expert said they were more worried about flu this year than they had been for several years.

The UKHSA warned of a possible “difficult winter” ahead as respiratory viruses, including flu and Covid, circulate widely.

Under plans announced on Wednesday, around 33 million people in England will be eligible for a free flu vaccine this year, including all primary-age and some secondary-age children, who will be offered the nasal spray.

PA

Around 26 million people in England are also eligible for the autumn Covid-19 booster vaccine.

People who qualify for both jabs could be offered the flu and Covid jab at the same time if supply allows, though in different arms.

Who is eligible to get a flu jab?

  • People aged 50 and over
  • People with specified health conditions aged six months to 49
  • Secondary school-aged children focusing on Years 7, 8 and 9 with any remaining vaccine offered to Years 10 and 11
  • Primary school-aged children
  • Pregnant women
  • Those in care homes
  • Frontline health staff
  • Social care staff and carers
  • The household contacts of people with weakened immune systems.

These people can get a jab from their GP surgery or pharmacies offering an NHS vaccine service.

Who is eligible to get an autumn/winter Covid booster?

  • Adults aged 50 and over
  • Those aged five to 49 with health conditions that put them at greater risk
  • Pregnant women
  • Care home workers
  • Frontline health workers
  • Social care workers
  • Carers and the household contacts of people with weakened immune systems

All those eligible for a booster can now book online apart from people aged 50 to 64 (who are not in an at-risk group), who will be able to get one later this autumn.

GPs are also inviting children aged two and three years old (as of August 31) for the nasal spray vaccine.