Flu vaccinations and Seasonal COVID Boosters for Carers
The government has accepted the final JCVI advice which states the following people should be offered a COVID-19 booster vaccine this autumn: Under the advice, those eligible for a further dose will be:
- all adults aged 50 years and over
- those aged 5 to 49 years in a clinical risk group, including pregnant women
- those aged 5 to 49 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression
- those aged 16 to 49 years who are carers
- residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults
- frontline health and social care workers
A booster will also be offered to front-line health and social care staff, those who care for vulnerable individuals and families of individuals with weakened immune systems. The autumn booster is being offered to those at high risk of the complications of COVID-19 infection, who may have not been boosted for a few months.
As the number of COVID-19 infections increases over the winter, this booster should help to reduce your risk of being admitted to hospital with COVID-19. The booster may also provide some protection against mild Omicron infection but such protection does not last for long.
How to get a Seasonal Booster Dose
To get a seasonal booster (autumn booster) dose you can:
- book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment online for an appointment at a vaccination centre or pharmacy
- find a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site to get vaccinated without needing an appointment
If you support someone living in a care home for older people, contact the care home manager about vaccinations.
Flu Jabs for Carers
Having a flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and the person you care for from flu. You are eligible for the free flu vaccine if you receive a Carer’s allowance, or if you are the main Carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick. We recommend that you inform your GP that you’re a Carer and they will register you as such so that you will receive invitations for your flu vaccine and COVID-19 boosters. If you’re eligible for a free flu vaccine, you can book an appointment at your GP surgery or a pharmacy that offers it on the NHS. Find a pharmacy that offers NHS flu vaccination.
Can I Have the Flu and COVID Vaccines Together?
Some people may be eligible for both the flu and the COVID-19 booster vaccines. If you are offered both vaccines, it’s safe to have them at the same time. The best time to have your flu vaccine is in the autumn or early winter before flu starts spreading. But you can get your vaccine later.
Why Should I have the Flu Vaccine?
While flu is unpleasant for most people, it can be dangerous and even life-threatening for some people, particularly those with certain health conditions. 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. Here is additional information about the flu vaccine.