Grab a ‘Jabuary’ vaccine boost for Covid and flu protection
Health chiefs in the North West have urged people to grab a ‘Jabuary’ boost to protect themselves from COVID-19 and flu amid continuing high infection rates and hospital admissions.
Hundreds of sites across the region, including general practices, pharmacies and hospital hubs, are continuing to offer first, second and autumn booster doses of the Covid vaccine throughout January.
Free NHS flu vaccines are also still available at general practices and pharmacies and school vaccination teams are visiting secondary schools this month to give the vaccine – which is generally given as a nasal spray to children – to students in years 7 to 9.
Jim Stuart, 56, from Stockport, got his flu vaccine at a community pharmacy in early January after hearing about high levels of flu circulating.
He said: “I knew I was eligible for the flu vaccine as I’m over 50. I didn’t want to catch the flu and be poorly myself and have to take time off work. I was also worried about potentially catching it and passing it on to family members. I knew I could easily get a free flu jab from the chemist over the road, so it was no-brainer for me.”
While more than 2 million people in the North West have had their Covid booster and 2.5 million people have had a flu jab, there are still a number of eligible people who have not taken up their winter vaccinations, placing themselves at an increased risk of serious illness.
Dr Linda Charles-Ozuzu, Regional Director of Commissioning and Senior Responsible Officer for the NHS Vaccination Programme in the North West, said: “We’ve launched our ‘Jabuary’ campaign to let people know that it isn’t too late to come forward for your flu or Covid vaccines, if eligible. We have plenty of bookable appointments, as well as walk-in clinics and mobile and pop-up sites offering Covid jabs in convenient community locations.
“We are still seeing high infection rates and hospital admissions in the region, so it’s vital that people who haven’t yet had their vaccines come forward as soon as possible to get protected.”
People can book a Covid vaccine online or find a convenient walk-in clinic at Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination – NHS (www.nhs.uk)
General practices and pharmacies are continuing to offer the flu vaccine to eligible people. It’s possible to book a flu vaccine at some pharmacies online at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/book-flu-vaccination/. To find a wider list of pharmacies offering flu vaccination that you can contact directly book, visit https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/prescriptions-and-pharmacies/pharmacy-nhs-flu-vaccine-service/
Those eligible for the Covid booster and flu vaccines are:
- People aged 50 and over
- Those aged between six months and 49 years with a specified health condition
- Pregnant women
- Those in care homes
- People who are carers, as set out in the Green Book
- Frontline healthcare workers
- Frontline social care staff who do not have access to occupational health schemes
- Household contacts of people with weakened immune systems.
In addition, the free flu vaccine is offered to all two and three-year-olds, all primary school aged children and secondary school-aged children in years 7-9.