With winter illnesses and cold weather on the way, healthcare leaders in Sefton are inviting all those over 50 years of age to get protected this winter by getting their COVID-19 autumn booster vaccine as well as their annual flu jab.
From Saturday 15 October, the autumn booster rollout expanded to include all over 50s, as well as those previously eligible for the jab including frontline health and social care workers, care home and housebound residents, anyone who is pregnant, carers aged 16 or over, and those aged 5 and over who have a weakened immune system or who live with someone at high risk from COVID-19.
Anyone now eligible can have their autumn booster if it’s been at least 3 months since their previous COVID-19 vaccine dose. For anyone who has missed their first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the offer to get these jabs is still available through the NHS national booking system.
Jan Leonard, primary care lead for Sefton at NHS Cheshire and Merseyside, said: “As with previous vaccination rollouts, the NHS is focusing on delivering the jabs to those most at risk first, to get them up to date protection ahead of the winter period and to save lives.
“COVID-19 is still very much with us in Sefton and the protection we get from the vaccines needs to be topped up to keep us safe from serious illness, so it’s just as important to get your autumn booster when eligible, as it is to get any other doses of the vaccine you may have missed.”
Those eligible for the autumn booster are also likely to be eligible for a flu vaccination. The two jabs may need to be booked separately, but it’s safe to get both vaccinations at the same time.
Margaret Jones, director of public health at Sefton Council, said: “The best time to get your flu jab is now, before flu starts to spread in the winter months. The flu vaccination is the best way to stop you getting the virus in the first place, and if you do catch it, the vaccine can protect you from getting seriously ill.
“Winter viruses are already circulating locally and, if unprotected, you could become seriously ill if you catch flu and COVID-19 at the same time, so if you’re eligible for both vaccines then don’t hesitate to get booked in.
WATCH: Sefton GP Dr Abdul Zubairu urges those eligible to get their autumn booster and flu jabs:
To book a COVID-19 autumn booster, anyone eligible can book an appointment at a vaccination centre or participating pharmacy in Sefton, or find a walk-in vaccination site nearby, by visiting the NHS website at: www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination
The flu jab can be given at GP surgeries and participating pharmacies. To book a flu jab through a participating pharmacy in Sefton, visit the NHS website at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/book-flu-vaccination
Anyone who has a COVID-19 infection or who is showing symptoms of the virus should wait until their symptoms are better before getting their jabs. They should ideally wait:
4 weeks (28 days) if you are aged 18 or over
- 12 weeks (84 days) if you or your child are aged 5 to 17
- 4 weeks (28 days) if you or your child are aged 5 to 17 and at high risk from COVID-19, or live with someone who has a weakened immune system