With winter upon us, Somerset residents are being reminded to protect their health and the health of people around them by getting their flu and Covid-19 vaccinations.
Covid and flu vaccinations are safe and effective ways to prevent serious illness.
If you’re 50 and over, a frontline health or social care worker, pregnant, have a long-term health condition, or are a paid or unpaid carer, you are eligible for the free flu vaccine, and you can likely get the Covid-19 seasonal booster. Children aged 2-15 years old are also eligible for free flu vaccination, which is delivered through either their GP for pre-school and school for school age children – parents need to sign a consent form.
Councillor Adam Dance, Lead Executive Member for Public Health, Equalities and Diversity said:
“I want to thank everyone who’s come forward for their flu and Covid-19 vaccinations so far, to protect themselves and others, as well as helping to ease seasonal pressures on health and social care services.
“I’d strongly encourage people who are eligible to book their appointment as soon as possible to protect themselves and the people around them. The flu virus is always changing and so you need an annual booster vaccine and Covid-19 protection can fade over time, so it’s important we keep ahead of these viruses and top up our protection when offered. Already we are seeing higher flu rates, than we normally do at this time of year, so it’s time to get vaccinated
“Additionally, if you are not eligible for the free winter flu vaccination but would still like to get the jab, many local pharmacies offer the winter flu vaccination for between £10-15.”
Gary Risdale, Programme Manager for Somerset NHS COVID-19 Programme said:
“The Autumn Booster programme has been really successful across Somerset. Whilst the vast majority of eligible people have already come forwards to have their jab, we are keen to ensure that everyone who can have one does it as soon as possible. It is especially important to get vaccinated in time for the festive break, where many families and vulnerable people will be spending time together.”
“We have worked very hard to open up as many appointments as possible and, more recently, a large number of walk-in clinics where people can just turn up. The average appointment takes less than 15 minutes and is time well spent to ensure the best protection for the winter is gained.”
If you have not yet had your earlier doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, it’s not too late to come forward and you can get these at any time.
Getting both vaccines is important because more people are likely to get the flu this winter, and you’re more likely to be seriously ill if you get the flu and COVID-19 at the same time.
A number of clinics across Somerset are also open for walk-ins. More details can be found at COVID-19 and Flu vaccinations in Somerset – NHS Somerset.