Flu and COVID Autumn Vaccine Programmes Brought Forward
This year’s autumn flu and COVID-19 vaccine programmes will start earlier than planned as a precautionary measure following the identification of a new COVID-19 variant.
Vaccinations are now set to start week commencing 11 September 2023, with people at greatest risk of serious illness from Covid receiving the vaccines first, including care home residents, over 65s and frontline health and social care workers.
The following people are eligible for an autumn Covid booster:
- Residents in care homes for older adults
- All adults aged 65 years and over
- People aged 6 months to 64 years in a clinical risk group, as defined in tables 3 and 4 of the Covid-19 chapter of the UKHSA Green Book on Immunisation
- frontline health and social care workers.
- People aged 12 to 64 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression, as defined in the UKHSA Green Book
- People aged 16 to 64 years who are carers*, as defined in the UKHSA Green Book, and staff working in care homes for older adults
This is because the risk of severe Covid continues to be strongly associated with increasing age and underlying health conditions.
Eligible people should wait to receive an invite from their local provider.
From 18 September, the NHS will start to invite people in priority order of risk and those eligible will be able to book an appointment on the National Booking Service.
Why should I get an autumn booster?
- Vaccines help to protect against severe illness, hospitalisations and deaths from Covid.
- People who received an autumn booster vaccine last year were around 53% less likely to go to the hospital with Covid in the two to four weeks after getting vaccinated, compared to those who didn’t get a booster.
- Last year’s autumn booster programme saw almost 84% of over-80s vaccinated and more than 73% of 65-70-year-olds, protecting the most vulnerable and helping us to live with Covid.
Register as a Carer with your GP
Birmingham Carers Hub advises that you notify your GP practice that you have a caring responsibility for a friend or family member so that you are flagged on the system as a Carer. This way you will automatically receive Covid and flu vaccination invitations and will ensure that you are protecting yourself, as well as the person you provide care for.
*The Immunisation Green Book lists carers as those who are eligible for a Carer’s Allowance, or those aged 16 years and over who are the sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable. This is the same definition as has been used for the COVID-19 booster.
Those clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 are defined by the following JCVI priority groups:
- children of any age with severe neuro-disability, severe or profound and multiple learning disabilities (including Down’s syndrome and those on the learning disability register) or immunosuppression (as defined in table 4 in the Immunisation Green Book, Chapter 14a),
- adults who have underlying health conditions leading to greater risk of disease or mortality as defined in table 3 in the Green Book,
- those of advanced age.
Those eligible for a flu vaccine this year include carers in receipt of Carer’s Allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person and close contacts of immunocompromised individuals.