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Vaccines are our best protection this winter

11 November 2021

This winter there are two essential vaccines needed to protect yourself and those around you: the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 booster vaccine.  

The flu vaccine is available to more people than ever before this winter to help protect people from an unpredictable virus that can result in fever, coughing, pains, and more severe complications. Some people are also eligible for the COVID-19 booster vaccine which extends the protection gained from their first two doses.

If you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time, research shows you’re more likely to be seriously ill. Being vaccinated against both flu and COVID-19 will protect you and those around you from both serious illnesses. 

Nearly 25,000 people in Richmond upon Thames have already had their booster jab, and over 26,000 people have had their flu vaccine and we are encouraging more people to come forward. 

The flu vaccine is free on the NHS to the people who: 

  • Are 50 and over (including those who’ll be 50 by 31 March 2022) 
  • 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 infections 
  • Frontline health or social care workers 

A nasal spray flu vaccine is also available for all children from reception to year 11, children aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2021, and those aged 2 to 17 with long-term health conditions. 

Last year, over 60,000 people in Richmond upon Thames had their flu vaccination, and we are encouraging even more people to come forward this year. 

You can get the flu vaccine at your GP surgery, a pharmacy offering the service, your midwife if pregnant, or at a hospital appointment. 

The COVID-19 booster vaccine is currently available to: 

  • Everyone aged 50 and over 
  • Everyone aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts them at high risk from the virus 
  • Frontline health and social care workers 
  • People aged 16 and over who are a main carer for someone at high risk from COVID-19 
  • People aged 16 and over who live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV or has had a transplant – for more information on who is included visit the NHS website). 

You need to have had your second vaccine at least six months ago. You will be contacted by the NHS when it’s your turn for a booster vaccine. 

Cllr Piers Allen, Lead member for Adult Social Care and Health and Chair of the Richmond Health and Wellbeing Board, said: 

"I urge everyone to top up their immunity this winter by getting both the COVID-19 booster vaccine and the flu vaccine. 

"Flu kills around 11,000 people each year in England and hospitalises thousands more. More people are likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"By getting the flu vaccine and your booster COVID-19 vaccine, you will be doing your part in protecting yourself and your loved ones from a nasty illness, as well as protecting the NHS from being overloaded with flu and COVID-19 patients this winter. 

"Let’s all play our part and get vaccinated this winter."

Please visit the NHS website for more information on the COVID-19 booster vaccine and the flu vaccine. 

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Up to: November 2021

Updated: 11 November 2021