NHS vaccination teams across the region are offering COVID-19 boosters and annual flu vaccination to those at greatest risk from both viruses.
The autumn vaccination rollout has started this week with people aged 65 and over and those with weakened immune systems the first to be invited for the vital jabs.
It’s anticipated that many vaccination services will continue on Monday 19 September, which the government has confirmed will be a Bank Holiday for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.
For patients who already have a planned vaccination appointment on Monday 19 September, these will in the main be honoured. The NHS will contact patients if there are any changes.
For those patients who have their vaccinations booked on that day, but decide they will not attend, please cancel your appointment.
A full list of sites that will not be open will be listed https://northeastnorthcumbria.nhs.uk/
For people who have not yet had an appointment the NHS will contact eligible people when it’s their turn for vaccination and invite them to make an appointment.
For COVID-19 you will either get a text or call from your local GP service or an invitation from the National Booking Service, which will allow you to choose a convenient centre for you to attend.
For flu, you will be invited by your GP practice or you can attend one of hundreds of local community pharmacies.
With a resurgence in both covid and flu expected this winter, experts are urging eligible people to double their defences and get protected as soon as they are invited to keep them and those around them safe and help us continue to live with the virus without restrictions.
As with previous campaigns, the oldest and most vulnerable are being called forward first, with people able to book online or by calling 119, as long as it has been three months since their last dose.
Frontline health and social care staff are also now able to book their autumn booster in line with JCVI guidance.
The following people are eligible for a COVID-19 booster:
- People who live or work in a care home for older adults
- Frontline health and social care workers
- People aged 50 and over
- People aged 5-49 who are immunosuppressed
- People aged 5-49 who have a health condition that puts them at greater risk from COVID
- People aged 5-49 who live with someone who is immunosuppressed
- Pregnant women
- People aged 16-49 who are carers
In line with JCVI guidance, the NHS will be using the new bivalent vaccines, which tackle both the Omicron and original variant of the virus.
Flu vaccinations are also underway and are being offered by GP practices and community pharmacies.
It is safe to have the COVID-19 and flu vaccinations at the same time but this may not always be possible so the NHS is asking people to get each vaccination as soon as they are invited.
The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to adults who:
- are 65 and over (including those who will be 65 by 31 March 2023)
- have certain health conditions
- are pregnant
- are in long-stay residential care
- receive 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 a severe infection due to a weakened immune system, such as someone living with HIV, someone who has had a transplant, or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
- are frontline health workers
- are social care workers who cannot get the vaccine through an occupational health scheme at work
Starting from mid-October, people aged 50 years old or over (including those who will be 50 years old by 31 March 2023) can have a free NHS flu vaccine. This is so at-risk groups can be offered vaccination first.