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Covid-19 booster vaccine and flu vaccine – Your questions answered

Posted in Covid-19 Vaccination Programme in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin

What’s different this year?

As social mixing starts to return towards pre-pandemic norms, it is expected that winter 2021-22 will be the first winter in the UK when flu (and other respiratory viruses) will co-circulate alongside Covid-19. During last winter (2020-21), measures to control the spread of Covid-19 such as mask-wearing, physical and social distancing, and restricted international travel meant that flu activity levels were extremely low around the world. As a result, we expect that the population will have a lower general level of immunity to flu this winter. This has the potential to significantly increase the winter pressures that the NHS already usually faces, particularly if infection waves from both viruses coincide.

This winter, more than ever, getting vaccinated against flu and Covid-19 will be of the utmost importance to protect ourselves, our patients, colleagues, family, and friends.

 

When will I get my vaccinations?

Residents in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, who are eligible for the free flu vaccine and Covid-19 booster jab are being urged to book their appointments as soon as they are able to give themselves and their loved ones the best possible protection this winter

Those eligible for a Covid-19 booster vaccine should book or walk-in for a booster as soon as they are invited (by text, email or letter), with around 30 million people eligible for the booster dose. The NHS Vaccination Programme is inviting eligible people, who had their second jab at least six months ago (a minimum of 182 days), for their booster dose.

Those that meet the criteria for a free flu vaccine should come forward to get it as soon as possible.

You may also be offered the seasonal flu vaccination at the same appointment as your Covid-19 booster jab.

Although the Covid-19 booster and flu can be administered at the same time, eligible people across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin are being urged to book their flu jabs and not wait until they are invited for their Covid-19 booster vaccination, or vice versa, to ensure they are protected as soon as possible.

People will be vaccinated in the same priority order as was used for the first and second Covid-19 vaccinations, with the oldest and most vulnerable invited first.

 

Where will I receive my flu vaccine?

You can have your flu vaccine at:

  • your GP surgery or Primary Care Network centre
  • a pharmacy offering the service
  • your midwifery service if you're pregnant
  • a hospital appointment

You can find a local pharmacy that offers the NHS flu vaccine here.

 

Who can have the flu vaccine?

The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to people who:

  • are 50 and over (including those who'll be 50 by 31 March 2022)
  • 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

 

Who will be eligible for the Covid-19 booster vaccination?

Those who will be eligible for the Covid-19 booster include: 

  • 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
  • Adult carers and those experiencing homelessness
  • Adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals

 

Can I get the Covid-19 booster vaccination but not the flu vaccination?

You are encouraged to take both vaccines, but the choice is yours.

When you book your appointment you will be asked to select which vaccines you wish to take.

Read more about the two vaccines on the NHS website: NHS - Coronavirus booster vaccine

 

Should I wait to have my flu jab at the same time as my Covid-19 booster?

No. Although the Covid-19 booster and flu can be administered at the same time, eligible people across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin are being urged to book their flu jabs and not wait until they are invited for their Covid-19 booster vaccination, or vice versa, to ensure they are protected as soon as possible.