With two viruses in circulation this year, it is more important than ever for those who are eligible to have the COVID-19 booster and the flu vaccines this winter. This will help reduce the number of people becoming unwell, as both the COVID-19 and flu viruses can develop into a serious illness which may mean you need to go to hospital. In fact, research shows that if you get both flu and COVID-19 at the same time you are more likely to get seriously ill. Both vaccines help to protect people from the worst outcomes, whilst reducing the spread of the viruses and helping to protect your family, friends and the wider community.
The COVID-19 booster is an additional vaccine dose for those who have previously received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. In particular, it is for people who are the most likely to become seriously ill from COVID-19 to give them the best possible protection.
The COVID-19 booster programme is now running in south west London. However, it’s important to know that those people who need the booster will be contacted by the NHS when it is their turn. Booster vaccines can only be offered to people who have at least a six month gap from their second vaccination. When ready, you will be invited to get your booster by your GP and/or be contacted by the NHS to book through the national COVID-19 vaccination booking service.
The following patients will be offered a booster, with the most vulnerable being offered the COVID-19 booster first.
- those living in residential care homes for older adults
- all adults aged 50 years or over
- frontline health and social care workers
- all those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 and adult carers
- adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals
Many patients who are eligible for a COVID-19 booster will also be eligible for a FREE flu jab!
The flu vaccination programme is also up and running and helps protect from serious complications from getting flu. We would encourage people that are eligible for a COVID-19 booster to also get their flu vaccination. It is safe for both the COVID-19 booster and flu vaccine to be given at the same time.
If you have any further questions about the COVID-19 booster vaccine, please visit nhs.uk
Winter flu vaccine
The aim of the south west London flu programme is to offer protection against the effects of flu to as many eligible people as possible, particularly those most at risk. Patients who are in one of the groups below are being offered the flu vaccine for FREE and are encouraged to get protected as soon as possible, before the flu virus circulates.
People can get the FREE full vaccine if they;
- are 50 and over (including those who’ll be 50 by 31 March 2022)
- are under 50 and have certain health conditions
- are pregnant
- are in long-stay residential care
- receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
- live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
- frontline health or social care workers
You can get the flu jab from:
- your GP surgery
- a pharmacy offering the service
- your midwifery service if you’re pregnant
- a hospital appointment
For more information on the flu vaccine visit nhs.uk/flujab
Specific information for those in the following groups can be found here.