For people over 50, getting a COVID-19 booster and flu vaccine is one of the most important things they can do to protect their health. Older people and those with particular health conditions are most at risk from the serious impacts of flu and COVID-19 so it is vital that older people protect themselves as soon as they can, when the NHS contacts them. Cases of flu during the last two years were unusually low due to the pandemic restrictions, but experts expect flu to return as a significant risk this winter.
Concerns that more people may be likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity during the pandemic, along with worsening flu infection rates in the southern hemisphere, have prompted NHS guidance for everyone aged 50+ to be offered a further dose of COVID-19 booster and a flu jab this autumn to increase protection. Unpaid carers, residents of older adult care homes, health and social care staff and household contacts of people with weakened immune system are also eligible for flu and COVID-19 booster vaccinations. In addition, those aged under 50 with particular health conditions are also eligible.
There’s more information about the winter booster programme and why it’s so important for older people to be vaccinated on the national Age UK website.
If you’ve been contacted by the NHS or your GP practice to have your winter vaccinations, please make an appointment as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can get a free flu vaccine at a number of pharmacies across Leeds.