COVID-19 and Flu Vaccinations Now Bookable for Over 50s
Everyone aged 50 and above in Hertfordshire can now have their autumn COVID booster jab. There are now five ways to get boosted in our area, so don’t delay.
Eligible people are being invited to attend an appointment at a GP-run clinic, drop in to a local walk-in service with no appointment needed COVID-19 vaccinations near you – Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care System (hertsandwestessexics.org.uk) make a booking over the phone by ringing 119, or book online by searching ‘book an NHS COVID vaccination’.
In a first for the NHS, a new pilot scheme has just been launched which links some Herts pharmacies with a new national flu vaccination website – similar to the national COVID vaccination booking site. The pilot scheme will allow people to book a flu jab at more than 200 participating sites across the country, including a number in our area. Find out if your local pharmacy is linked in with this service by using this website: Book or manage a free NHS flu vaccination at a pharmacy – NHS (www.nhs.uk). If there isn’t an online pilot scheme site near you yet, don’t worry – just ask in your local pharmacy or wait to be contacted by your GP practice.
Getting both the flu and COVID jabs you are eligible for is one of the easiest ways to avoid serious illness this winter, helping you to stay well and easing the pressure on the NHS. Over the last month, more than 60 local pharmacies, most GP practices, ‘pop up’ vaccination centres and outreach clinics have been taking COVID vaccinations into the heart of communities across Hertfordshire.
More than 3.1 million COVID-19 vaccinations have been administered in Hertfordshire and west Essex since the start of the vaccination campaign.
The national booking system will allow those aged 50 and over to book their COVID autumn booster from Monday 17 October.
COVID-19 autumn boosters are available to:
- all adults aged 50 and over
- those aged 5 to 49 in a clinical risk group, including pregnant women
- those age 5 to 49 who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression
- those aged 15 to 49 who are carers
- residents in care homes for older adults and staff
- frontline health and social care workers.
Residents can book online via NHS.UK or call 119, as long as it has been at least three months since their last dose. GP practices will also be in contact with patients directly to offer available appointments.
The NHS is also offering the free flu vaccine to more people than ever before this year.
Those eligible for a free flu vaccine (a nasal spray for children and an injection for adults) are:
- anyone aged from 6 months to 50 years’ old in a clinical risk group
- children aged 2 or 3 years old on 31 August 2022
- all primary school aged children (reception age to year 6)
- eligible children aged between 11 and 16
- pregnant women
- everyone aged 50 and over
- those in long-stay residential care homes
- carers / in receipt of carer’s allowance / or main carer of an older or disabled person
- close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
- frontline health and social care staff
Dr Jane Halpin, Chief Executive of the Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care Board said: ‘Extending the National Booking System to everyone aged 50+ and being able to book both vaccinations online will really help us in the battle against these viruses. Getting vaccinated against flu and COVID is one of the most important ways to protect yourself and prevent the spread of these viruses to others. Getting your jabs can prevent you from being seriously ill and needing hospital care as we move into the winter, when viruses circulate more easily.
‘The flu jab and COVID booster can even be given at the same time, if this service is available to you at your GP practice or community pharmacy. Coming forward is particularly important for those at higher risk to help avoid serious health complications. Both vaccines are safe and effective and are our best defence against these serious illness.
‘If you are eligible and have never had a COVID or flu vaccination before, it’s not too late to start now. You will always be welcomed. Make an appointment online, speak to a pharmacist, visit one of the local walk-in clinics or ring 119 for more information.’
For the latest COVID and flu vaccination information in Hertfordshire, and to check if you are eligible: hertsandwestessexics.org.uk/covid-19.