As autumn approaches now is the time to start thinking about getting your annual flu vaccine. This year, the free vaccine will be offered to a wide group of people, reflecting the concerns around both flu and increase of COVID infections.
The NHS flu programme in England typically offers the flu vaccine to those over the age of 65, pregnant women and those with existing health conditions or weakened immune systems. These groups will remain a high priority this year, while the programme will also be extended to reach out to more people.
In a typical winter, flu is one of the biggest health concerns for many older and vulnerable people. With the additional threat of coronavirus again this year, the public are being advised to take extra care to avoid both of these diseases. The government hopes for as many people as possible to receive the flu jab to reduce the risk of carers and healthcare workers coming under immense pressure.
Flu Clinics at West Point Medical Centre 2022/2023
We will be holding our Flu Clinics at West Point Medical Centre over the next few months. You can keep up to date with our arrangements by checking the information on our website regularly.
The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to people who:
- all children aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2022
- all primary school aged children (from reception to Year 6)
- those aged 6 months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups
- pregnant women
- those aged 65 years and over
- those in long-stay residential care homes
- close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
- frontline staff employed by the following types of social care providers without employer led occupational health schemes:
- a registered residential care or nursing home
- registered domiciliary care provider
- a voluntary managed hospice provider
- Direct Payment (personal budgets) or Personal Health Budgets, such as Personal Assistants
Can I Have the Flu vaccine if I’m not on this list?
Yes. From the 15th October people who are 50-64 can also receive the free NHS flu vaccine. We will have additional clinics available to book for patients in this group.
Flu vaccine and coronavirus (COVID-19)
Flu vaccination is important because:
- more people are likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the COVID-19 pandemic
- if you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time, research shows you’re more likely to be seriously ill
- getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 will provide protection for you and those around you for both these serious illnesses
- If you’ve had COVID-19, it’s safe to have the flu vaccine. It will still be effective at helping to prevent flu.
External websites for further information:
- Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England– National Flu Immunisation Programme 2022 – 2023
- Why vaccination is safe and important – NHS UK
- Flu vaccine overview – NHS UK
- Children’s flu Vaccine – NHS UK
- Vaccination tips for parents – NHS UK