COVID-19 and flu – get protected and get on with life this autumn

Published: 8 September 2022

Rahma, a Care Assistant at Oakview Lodge care home in Hertfordshire, with Cynthia, a resident at the home.

Everyone aged 50 and over, people working in frontline health and social care, and those who are at high risk, will be offered a COVID-19 booster jab and a flu jab this autumn.

More than 60 local pharmacies, most GP practices, ‘pop up’ vaccination centres and outreach clinics will be taking vaccinations into the heart of communities across Hertfordshire and west Essex.  Care home residents and housebound patients will be contacted directly and offered vaccinations at home over the next few weeks – with local GP surgery staff delivering most of these vaccinations. 

COVID-19 autumn boosters will be offered to:

  • all adults aged 50 and over
  • those aged 5 to 49 in a clinical risk group, including pregnant women
  • those age 5 to 49 who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression
  • those age 15 to 49 who are carers
  • residents in care homes for older adults and staff
  • frontline health and social care workers

The COVID-19 national booking service is now open to autumn booster bookings for those who are at most risk of serious illness, such as people aged 75 and over, those who are immunosuppressed and frontline health and care staff. 

Hertfordshire and west Essex residents who are in one of these groups can book online or call 119, as long as it has been at least three months since their last dose.  Bookings will open to adults aged 50 and over in the next few weeks.

This week, GP practices have also started to vaccinate their housebound patients and older adults in residential care, as well as the staff who look after them.  Practice staff in Hertfordshire and west Essex will shortly begin to proactively contact all their patients who are due to have a COVID booster jab, to invite them in to a local clinic.  Please don’t ring your practice – they will contact you when it’s your turn.

The NHS is also offering a free flu vaccine to more people than ever before this year.

 Those eligible for a free flu vaccine are:  

  • children aged 2 or 3 years old on 31 August 2022
  • school aged children (all primary school aged children (reception year to year 6) and eligible secondary school children up to year 11)
  • those aged 6 months to under 50 years in clinical risk groups
  • pregnant women
  • everyone aged 50 and over
  • those in long-stay residential care homes
  • carers / in receipt of carer’s allowance / or main carer of an older or disabled person
  • close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
  • frontline health and social care staff

Dr Jane Halpin said:

“As we move towards winter, we know that respiratory infections can cause people to become seriously ill, placing a huge strain on the NHS and social care services.

“Having both the flu and COVID vaccinations helps to avoid spreading viruses to others and reduces disruption to our everyday lives.  Coming forward is particularly important for those at higher risk to help avoid serious health complications. We know that both vaccines are safe and effective and are our best defence against these viruses.  The flu jab and COVID-19 booster can safely be given at the same time, if this service is available to you at your GP practice or community pharmacy.”

If you are eligible and have never had a COVID or flu vaccination before, it’s not too late to start now.  Make an appointment online, speak to a pharmacist, visit one of our local walk-in clinics or ring 119 for more information.

For the latest COVID and flu vaccination information in Hertfordshire and west Essex, and to check if you are eligible visit: hertsandwestessexics.org.uk/covid-19