NHS opens bookings for COVID and winter flu vaccinations
Millions of the most vulnerable people in England are now able to book their COVID and winter vaccines from today (18th September), as the NHS steps up its winter vaccination programme early in response to a new COVID variant.
Anyone eligible can book their Covid vaccinations via the NHS website, by downloading the NHS App, or by calling 119 for free if they can’t get online.
Hundreds of thousands of adults who are eligible for winter vaccines – including all aged 65 and over, pregnant women and those with an underlying health condition – will also begin receiving invitations from the NHS to encourage them to get their Covid and flu jabs from this week.
GP practices and other local NHS services will also be contacting people to offer both flu and Covid vaccines, and people can book the flu vaccine by searching online for a local pharmacy.
Over 30 million people are eligible to receive a flu vaccine and over 20 million are able to get a Covid jab.
COVID vaccination for those aged under 18 years will begin later in the year – the NHS will let eligible families know when this offer opens.
This year’s adult Covid and flu vaccination programme has been brought forward on the advice of scientists following the emergence of a new covid-19 variant (BA.2.86), which has a high number of mutations.
Health chiefs have ensured there is enough capacity to offer the flu and covid vaccines to all those eligible by the end of October, reflecting the risk of the new variant.
Alongside this, NHS staff have worked hard to prepare for the earlier start of the programme, with almost 5,000 sites – more sites than ever before – taking part in the campaign this year to make it as easy and convenient as possible for people to get protection.
COVID and influenza – particularly in the colder, winter months – put a massive pressure on the NHS. More patients combined with more staff going on sick can result in difficult situations to manage at local healthcare clinics and hospitals.
That is why it is so important that nursing staff and the general public stay vaccinated and wear the correct RPE and PPE when required, to minimise the spread of infection.
For more information on regulations, RPE and PPE you can speak to one of our RPE Experts using the button below.