Flu and COVID jab reminders to start arriving this week

Flu and COVID jab reminders to start arriving this week image

Home » Flu and COVID jab reminders to start arriving this week

Eligible people in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes who have not yet come forward for COVID-19 and flu vaccinations will begin to receive reminders from today.

COVID-19 and flu vaccination appointments are now available for booking for all eligible groups, but thousands of people in the local area have still not made arrangements to receive them in advance of winter.

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

  • are 65 and over (including those who will turn 65 by 31 March 2024);
  • 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 a severe infection due to a weakened immune system, such as someone living with HIV, who has had a transplant, or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

Most eligible people will be offered a vaccination appointment or drop-in by their general practice, but you can also go to any pharmacy or other location which is offering jabs this winter.

The flu vaccine is also available to children, most of whom will receive a visit from an NHS vaccination team at their school.  If your child was aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2023, or aged over 6 months to 2 years and in clinical risk groups, s/he is also eligible and you should contact your GP surgery to find out how to get a vaccination.

Meanwhile, the COVID vaccination programme is also gathering pace.  There are over 65 locations in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes offering vaccinations to anyone who is eligible.  As with the flu campaign, you don’t need to wait to be invited before coming forward.

The COVID-19 vaccine is available to adults who:

  • are aged 65 or over (including those who will turn 65 by 31 March 2024);
  • have certain health conditions which put them at increased risk;
  • are pregnant;
  • live in a care home for older adults;
  • are a frontline health or social care worker;
  • are a carer;
  • live with someone with a weakened immune system.

Some children are also eligible because of a health condition, or because they live with someone who is at increased risk of serious illness.

Dr Sarah Whiteman, chief medical director at Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board, said:

“Having your COVID-19 and flu jabs is the best way to protect yourself and those around you.  Both vaccines have a good safety and effectiveness record.  Any side-effects are generally mild and do not last for more than a few days.

“With reminders going out this week to those who haven’t yet come forward, you can book now and avoid the rush.

“You can find the latest information about both vaccines and how to book by visiting www.nhs.uk/seasonalvaccinations.

“Booking a vaccine is quick and easy: it usually takes just a few moments.  Protect yourself this winter. Get your flu and COVID-19 vaccinations. Get winter strong.”

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