Flu is never pleasant, and for many people it will clear up on its own in about a week. But every year the NHS offers a flu vaccine for people at higher risk of complications from flu, such as people over the age of 65, pregnant women or people with underlying health conditions and weakened immune systems.
Who should get a flu jab?
Every year the NHS offers flu vaccinations to help protect adults and children who are at risk from the flu and its complications.
You can get a flu vaccine at your local GP surgery, or at a midwifery service if they offer it.
Your local pharmacy may also run a flu vaccination programme.
The NHS state flu can be more severe in certain people, and this year the NHS is offering the flu vaccine for free to:
- adults 65 and over
- people with certain medical conditions (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months of age)
- pregnant women
- people living with someone who’s at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
- children aged 2 and 3 on August 31, 2020
- children in primary school
- children in year 7 (secondary school)
- frontline health or social care workers
People aged 50 to 64 may also be offered the flu vaccine later this year, but the NHS is urging people in the age range who are an at-risk group not to delay having their flu vaccine.
When is the flu vaccine available?
High street pharmacy Boots has opened its booking system earlier than planned due to high demand for the flu vaccine this year.
Boots state more than 80,000 people have already registered with their winter flu jab service so far.
Appointments for the flu vaccine will be available from mid-September.
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Anne Higgins, director of Pharmacy at Boots UK said: “As COVID-19 continues to be present in the UK, it is more important than ever for people to consider getting their flu vaccination.
“Although the flu vaccination does not prevent COVID-19, both of these viruses have an impact on the respiratory system so if you can prevent flu, it can be a huge benefit to your overall health including your immune system.
“We also know that winter is a particularly busy time for GPs and hospitals so getting vaccinated early to protect against flu could help reduce the risk of the NHS becoming overwhelmed with both cases of flu and COVID-19.”
LloydsPharmacy have also already reopened their bookings for the flu vaccine this year.
How do I book a flu jab?
Boots has increased in-store safety measures which will need to be adhered to when attending vaccine appointments.
The Boots website explains you should arrive just in time for your appointment, and customers should bring their own pen and wear a short sleeved top for their vaccination.
Customers should also use hand sanitiser and wear face coverings at appointments.
Customers are being asked to read key information online before visiting for their vaccine appointment.
You can book an appointment with Boots via their dedicated Winter Flu Jab Service website.
To book with Lloyds, you can also pre-book an appointment via the LloydsPharmacy website.
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