Cumbria’s Director of Public Health is urging everyone who’s eligible for the free flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster to get theirs as soon as they’re invited.
With winter fast approaching and cases of COVID-19 still rising, it has never been more important to boost immunity against these viruses – especially if you’re vulnerable.
Both the flu and COVID-19 booster ‘jabs’ will help people protect themselves, their family and their friends during the colder months.
Colin Cox said: “We all know how dangerous COVID can be, but flu can also be debilitating or worse if you are already living with a long-term health condition, you’re either very young or very old, or have other risk factors.
“Winter and colder weather brings many challenges for the most vulnerable in society and winter viruses like flu are just one of them.
“The flu vaccine won’t stop all flu viruses and the level of protection may vary from person to person but if you do get flu after vaccination it is likely to be milder and shorter-lived than it otherwise might have been.
“The COVID booster is also being offered to those most at risk because research shows protection after two jabs begins to fall over time. So, it’s important as many people as possible are protected as temperatures fall this winter.
“Protect yourselves and your family – make sure you get your winter vaccines if you’re eligible.”
Those eligible for either the free flu vaccine or the COVID-19 booster, will be contacted by the NHS.
There is no need to contact your GP or local NHS services to book either of these jabs.
If you are eligible for the free jab and usually have it at your pharmacy you may be called to a session there.
Booster vaccine doses will be available on the NHS for people most at risk from COVID-19 who have had a second dose of a vaccine at least 6 months ago and most vulnerable will be called first.
Those not eligible for a free flu jab, can still get one by contacting their local pharmacist and making an appointment – although there is a charge for this service.
Many GP surgeries will have already been in contact with many of their most ‘at risk’ patients to arrange suitable appointments.
Some surgeries will also be running special flu clinics to offer more opportunities and will share any dates with patients accordingly.