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Help protect yourself and others this winter with your flu jab and COVID-19 autumn booster

13 September 2022

This winter there are two essential vaccines needed to protect yourself and those around you: the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 booster vaccine.

It is expected that many respiratory infections, including COVID-19 and flu, may be circulating at high levels this winter, which will put additional pressure on the NHS. Having your vaccines will help you from becoming seriously ill with COVID-19 and flu, and will ease pressure on the NHS.

Who can have the flu vaccine?

Anyone can have the flu vaccine. However, it is given for free through the NHS to the following cohorts:

  • All children aged 2 - 3 years
  • All primary school aged children (from reception to Year 6)
  • Secondary school-aged children: Years 7, 8 and 9 will be offered the vaccine first.
  • Those aged 6 months to 65 in clinical risk groups
  • Pregnant women
  • Those aged 50 years and over
  • Those in long-stay residential care homes
  • Carers
  • Close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
  • Frontline health workers
  • Social care workers who cannot get the vaccine through an occupational health scheme at work

How to book your flu vaccine

If you are eligible for a free flu vaccine, you can book an appointment at your GP surgery or a pharmacy that offers it on the NHS.

You may also receive an invitation to get vaccinated, but you do not have to wait for this before booking an appointment. More information on the flu vaccination can be found here.

Who is being offered the COVID-19 autumn booster?

COVID-19 is more serious in older people and in people with certain underlying health conditions. The autumn booster is being offered to the following cohorts:

  • People aged 50 years and older
  • Residents in care homes for older people
  • Those aged 5 years and over in a clinical risk group
  • Frontline health and social care staff
  • Those who care for vulnerable individuals and families of individuals with weakened immune systems

How to book your COVID-19 autumn booster

The oldest and most vulnerable will be called forward first, with people able to book online or through 119 if it has been three months since their last dose.

The NHS will contact people when it is their turn to book in for the vaccine – you do not need to contact the NHS. You can find more information here.
If you are eligible for both vaccines, you may be able to have them at the same time – if not please go ahead anyway, you can catch up with the other vaccine later.

You can read a guide to the COVID-19 autumn booster to find out more about the COVID-19 autumn booster. There will also be a COVID-19 vaccine pop up at York House, Twickenham, on 22 September from 10.30am to 4pm.

Shannon Katiyo, Director of Public Health at Richmond Council, said:

“It is great to see this programme being rolled out and to know that vulnerable residents are being protected at the earliest opportunity. It is important that any resident eligible for the COVID-19 autumn booster books in without delay when they are invited by the NHS, either by booking through the NHS website or calling 119.”

Councillor Piers Allen, Lead member for Adult Social Care and Health and Chair of the Richmond Health and Wellbeing Board, added:

“I urge everyone to top up their immunity this winter by getting both the COVID-19 booster vaccine and the flu vaccine.

“By getting the flu vaccine and your booster COVID-19 vaccine, you will be doing your part in protecting yourself and your loved ones from a nasty illness, as well as protecting the NHS from being overburdened this winter.”

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Updated: 13 September 2022

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