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Get ready for winter viruses

Flu and COVID-19 can both be life-threatening and spread more easily in winter, when we are all crowded together inside. Most adults and children will be eligible for a flu jab, COVID-19 booster, or both. It’s the most effective way to boost our natural immunity and protect ourselves from these viruses. So, book your vaccine appointments now and BOOST your immunity this winter.

So it’s important to get your flu vaccine this year as well as your COVID-19 vaccines. The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to people who:

  • 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

COVID-19 vaccines are available to anyone over 16 through the national booking service or walk-in spots. Boosters are also available for people over 50 or health and social care workers, as long as you are 182 days since your second dose. These have to be booked at https://www.nhs.uk/book-a-coronavirus-vaccination/

Help your local NHS this winter

The past 18 months have been really hard for the NHS but there are some small things you can do that will make a big difference to help the NHS this winter

  • Get your flu vaccine – whether you have one for free or need to buy one from a pharmacy, it’s really important for you and your family to be protected this winter
  • Get your COVID-19 vaccines – first dose, second dose, third dose or booster, take up the offer of COVID-19 vaccines that are available to you
  • Download the NHS app – for on the go access to your NHS COVID pass, book appointments, order repeat prescriptions and more https://www.nhs.uk/apps-library/nhs-app/
  • Use your local pharmacy – they are experts in medication and can provide lots of self-care advice and medicines for winter bugs
  • Keep a well stocked medicine cabinet – you never know which bugs you and your family might catch this winter, so it’s worth having a supply of basic medications at home https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/your-medicine-cabinet/