Get vaccinated and protect yourself and others this winter
With covid and flu circulating this winter, we’re encouraging everyone who is eligible to get their covid booster and flu vaccination.
Flu is very infectious and can be unpleasant, but if you’re otherwise healthy, it will usually clear up on its own in a week or two. But it can be more severe for some people including those aged over 65, pregnant women, children and adults with an underlying health condition and people with weakened immune systems.
If you’re in one of these groups, or if you care for someone who is, you’re eligible for the free vaccine at your GP or local pharmacy. Find out more at www.nhs.uk/staywell
The latest round of covid boosters is also underway for people aged 50 years and over, those aged five and over in clinical at risk groups or who are in a household of people with weakened immune systems, carers aged 16 and over, residents and staff in older adult care homes and frontline health and social care workers.
If you’re eligible, you should be offered an appointment between September and December, with those at highest risk being called in first. You should have your booster at least three months after your last dose of vaccine.
It’s safe to have your covid and flu vaccines at the same time.
From mid-October, the flu vaccine will also be offered to people aged 50 to 64.
If you’re not eligible for the free flu vaccine, you can pay for it at your local pharmacy.
The flu nasal spray vaccine will be available for children aged 2 – 3 via their GP surgery. Older children from reception to year nine will be able to have the nasal spray vaccine at school. Later in the year, children in years 10 and 11 may be offered the vaccine subject to availability. It’s important to vaccinate children to protect them and prevent them from spreading flu to people who are more vulnerable. If you have children in these age groups at school, please complete the consent form when you receive it.
The best time to get your flu vaccine is in the autumn before flu starts circulating. It’s safe and it will reduce your risk of catching flu or spreading it to others. You need to have a new vaccination each year to stay protected.
As well as getting vaccinated, there are other ways to stay safe this winter. It’s important to wash your hands often with warm water and soap, use tissues when you cough or sneeze and bin used tissues as quickly as possible.
Public health experts fear that there will be higher levels of flu this winter, with more of the population susceptible given the low levels in the last two years.
So it’s more important than ever to get your winter vaccines to protect you, your family and the people you come into contact with.
Thank you for helping to protect yourself and loved ones this winter.
Councillor Matt Barney
Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health
Nottinghamshire County Council