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NHS Health Check, screenings and vaccinations

COVID-19 and flu vaccinations

Protect yourself against COVID-19 and flu this winter

The protection provided by COVID-19 vaccines decreases over time and flu viruses can change every year.

So, if you’re 50 or over, in an at-risk group or pregnant, for your best protection, boost your immunity now with the flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster.

Many children are also eligible for a free flu vaccine.

Find out if you’re eligible at flu page on the NHS website

Flu and the flu vaccine

Where can you get the flu jab?

You can book an appointment at your GP’s surgery or find a pharmacy that offers the flu jab vaccination.

What is flu?

Flu is caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs. Flu will often get better on its own, but it can make some people seriously ill.

Flu is spread by coughing and sneezing. You can prevent spreading flu by covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and you should wash your hands frequently or use hand gels to reduce the risk of picking up the virus.

Symptoms of flu including a sudden high temperature, an aching body and a dry cough. To find out more about the symptoms of flu visit the NHS website.

Why should I get the flu vaccine?

While flu is unpleasant for most people it can be very dangerous and even life threatening for some, particularly people with certain health conditions. For them, it can increase the risk of developing more serious illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia or can make existing conditions worse.

In an average year, the flu virus kills almost 11,000 people and hospitalises tens of thousands more in England. In a bad year over 20,000 people can die from flu in England.

The vaccine is offered free every year to eligible groups by the NHS to help protect people at risk of getting seriously ill from flu. If you are eligible, it is important to get it every year because the viruses that cause flu change every year. This means the flu (and the vaccine) this year may be different from last year.

To find out more about flu and to see if you are eligible for the flu vaccine, please visit the flu page on the NHS website.

Easy read flu vaccination information on GOV.UK

Flu, why we get vaccinations each year

COVID-19 Autumn booster

Where can you get the COVID-19 autumn booster vaccination

Please go to the NHS How to get a booster dose of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine page to find out more, book your appointment online or find a walk in site.

Who should have it?

The following people are eligible for the COVID-19 Autumn booster:

  • residents of care homes for older adults
  •  all adults aged 50 years or above
  • pregnant women
  •  people aged 5 to 49 years in a clinical risk group or who are household contacts of people with a weakened immune system
  • people aged 16 to 49 years who are carers, and
  • front line health and social care workers

Which vaccine will you be offered?

You will be given a booster dose of a vaccine made by Pfizer or Moderna. You  may be offered an updated combination version of these booster vaccines – the combination vaccines include:

  • a half-dose of the previous vaccine combined with:
  • a half-dose of a vaccine against the Omicron variant

Both the previous and the combination vaccines boost protection very well, although the combination vaccines produce slightly higher levels of antibody against some strains of Omicron.

British sign language COVID-19 vaccination information on GOV.UK

Easy read COVID-19 vaccination information on GOV.UK