Boost your immunity! Protect yourself and your family from flu and Covid this winter
With the flu and Covid-19 viruses in circulation this winter, it’s more important than ever for those who are eligible to have the Covid-19 booster and the flu vaccines. This will help reduce the number of people becoming unwell, as both the Covid-19 and flu viruses can develop into a serious illness which may mean you need to go to hospital. In fact, research shows that if you get both flu and Covid-19 at the same time you are more likely to get seriously ill. Both vaccines help to protect people from the worst outcomes, whilst reducing the spread of the viruses and helping to protect your family, friends and the wider community.
Many patients who are eligible for a Covid-19 booster will also be eligible for a FREE flu jab! If you are offered both vaccines, it’s safe to have them at the same time.
Who’s eligible for a FREE flu jab?
- Aged 50 and over (including those who’ll be 50 by 31 March 2022)
- Certain health conditions
- In long-stay residential care
- In receipt of 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 and social care workers
Contact your GP surgery, local pharmacy or midwife to book an appointment.
How and when to get your Covid-19 booster vaccination
If you are eligible, you’ll be offered a booster dose at least 6 months after you had your 2nd dose.
- Book a vaccination appointment online for an appointment at a vaccination centre or pharmacy
- Go to the Broad Street Mall walk-in vaccination clinic https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-walk-in-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-site/profile/Z1S6K. No appointment needed. Staff there will check your eligibility for the Covid-19 vaccinations they offer.
- Wait to be contacted by your GP surgery and book an appointment with them
- Talk to your midwife about receiving flu and Covid vaccinations.
Reducing the spread of Flu and Covid
As well as making sure you are fully vaccinated against flu and Covid-19, there are other important things we can all do to reduce the risk of catching and spreading the flu and Covid.
Practise good hand hygiene. This is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of catching or spreading flu and Covid.
Catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue, throw the tissue away and wash your hands well with soap and warm water.
Hands, Face, Space and fresh air. As well as good hand hygiene, are you strongly recommended to wear a mask in enclosed places, give people space and wherever possible open windows to ensure a good flow of fresh air.
Visit your local pharmacist – if you are not eligible for a free flu vaccination, you may wish to consider paying for the vaccination yourself helping to prevent you and your family getting really unwell this winter. Most pharmacies will offer a vaccination for between £10 and £15.
For more information about flu and the flu vaccination, please see NHS Choices website.
Information for Parents/Carers and Children
Those eligible for the flu vaccination in 2021/22 are:
- all children aged two to fifteen (but not sixteen years or older) on 31 August 2021 (i.e. all children from the age of 2 years old up to year 11 of secondary school)
- those aged six months to under 50 years in clinical risk groups
Children aged 2 – 3 years will receive their vaccination from the GP surgery.
Primary and secondary school-aged children will receive their flu vaccination in school, by the Berkshire School-Aged Immunisation Team. The team may also be able to vaccinate your child against Covid at the same time (please see section below).
Covid-19 is usually mild in most children, but it can make some children unwell. One dose of a Covid-19 vaccine gives good protection against your children getting seriously ill. Vaccinating children can also help stop the spread of Covid-19 to other people, including within schools.
Children aged 12 – 15 years will be offered a Covid vaccination in school by the Berkshire School-Aged Immunisation Team. As a parent/carer or guardian, you will be asked to give consent. If your child misses their Covid-19 vaccination for any reason, they will be offered it again at a later date.
Children who do not go to school, for example if they are home-schooled, will also be offered a vaccine. You will be contacted about when and where your child can get one.
Alternatively you or your child can:
- Book their Covid-19 vaccination appointment online for an appointment at a vaccination centre or pharmacy
- Go to the Broad Street Mall walk-in vaccination clinic https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-walk-in-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-site/profile/Z1S6K. (aged 12 years and over) No appointment needed. Staff there will check the child’s eligibility for the Covid-19 vaccinations they offer.
Stay Well this Winter
Children of all ages should be encouraged to practice good hand hygiene to help protect themselves and their families against flu and Covid. Help them to remember “Catch it, bin it, kill it” (Catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue, throw the tissue away and wash your hands well with soap and warm water
For more ideas and tips to help you and your family stay well this winter please see here (link to Stay well this winter leaflet)
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