Boost your immunity this winter

Why it's important to have your vaccinations this year

Since the first COVID-19 vaccine was given, it has saved lives, helped tens of thousands of people stay out of hospital, and made it safer for us to live with COVID-19. But the virus is still with us and is still making people very ill every day.

As we head into autumn and winter, there will be other viruses too, including flu. For most people flu is unpleasant, but for some it can be dangerous and even life-threatening, particularly those with certain health conditions.

Most adults and children will be eligible for a flu vaccination, a COVID-19 booster vaccination, or both. It's the most effective way of boosting our immunity, getting the best protection against becoming seriously ill, and stopping the spread of these viruses to other people, thereby helping Surrey residents to stay fit and healthy.

To find out more visit the NHS Flu vaccine web page and the NHS COVID-19 vaccination web page.

Can I have my flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster in the same appointment?

Yes, if you are eligible to receive these two vaccines, you may be offered both in the same appointment. However, it's important that you do not wait to try and schedule both vaccinations at the same time as this may not be possible and could delay your protection over winter.

Please take up the offer of each vaccine when you are invited to, even if they are on different dates.

Why we should vaccinate against flu

Each year, different strains of flu virus circulate in the community as the virus is very adaptable making it so important that people get their flu jab each year if they are offered it.

This winter it is even more important to get vaccinated because fewer people have built up immunity to flu due to measures put in place for COVID-19 (mask-wearing, physical and social distancing, and restrictions on international travel) than in the previous years.

Now with most COVID-19 restrictions lifted it is important to get both the flu and COVID-19 vaccinations if you are at risk and eligible for both.

Who is eligible for the free flu vaccination?

Younger children, older people (65 years and over), those with certain long term health conditions and pregnant women are already able to book an appointment for a free flu vaccine at their GP practice, pharmacy, or maternity service.

School age children will be mostly offered the nasal spray and vaccinations at school. From mid-October, people aged 50 to 64 years old will also be offered a free flu vaccine.

Find more information about flu vaccinations on the NHS Flu vaccine web page.

COVID-19 vaccinations

It's not too late to get the first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, if you haven't had them yet as the vaccine gives you the best protection against COVID-19.

For more information on how to book your vaccine visit the NHS book or manage a COVID-19 vaccine web page or the NHS find a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site web page.

COVID-19 autumn booster

The NHS is now offering a seasonal booster vaccine known as the autumn booster to:

  • residents of care homes for older adults
  • front line health and social care workers
  • all those aged 50 years or above
  • all those who are pregnant
  • people aged 5 to 49 years in an at-risk group or who live with someone with a weakened immune system
  • people aged 16 to 49 years who are carers

To find out more about the autumn booster visit the NHS autumn booster web page.

More information about important vaccinations

If you would like to find out more about vaccination programmes and helpful resources on how else you can protect yourself and loved ones this winter visit the Healthy Surrey staying safe and well in winter web page.

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