NHS winter vaccine programme starts to protect most at risk of getting ill

Vulnerable and older people across Derby and Derbyshire, including people with some existing conditions, who are most at risk of getting ill this winter will start to receive an invitation to come forward for a flu and Covid-19 vaccine.

The vaccination programmes for both flu and Covid-19 have started this week, with care home residents and those most at risk first in line to receive their dose.

The offer will then open up to the remaining eligible groups from 18 September, including:

  • All adults aged 65 and over
  • People aged 6 months to 64 years in a clinical risk group
  • Frontline health and social care workers
  • People aged 12 to 64 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression
  • People aged 16 to 64 years who are carers and staff working in care homes for older adults
  • Pregnant women

The NHS has been asked to bring the programme forward and will be working quickly to ensure as many eligible people as possible are vaccinated by the end of October.

The annual flu jab will be made available to these groups at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine, where possible, to ensure protection against both flu and Covid-19 ahead of winter.

Eligible people will be able to book an appointment via the National Booking System from 18 September. Appointments will also be available on the NHS App or by calling 119. If the flu vaccine isn’t given at the same time, those eligible should wait to be invited by their GP practice.

Dr Chris Weiner, Chief Medical Officer at NHS Derby and Derbyshire Integrated Care Board, said: “Vaccinations are still our best defence against flu and Covid-19 ahead of what could be a very challenging winter. It’s important to remember that Covid-19 hasn’t gone away and some people are still at risk of becoming seriously ill from it.

“With the potential for this new Covid variant to increase the risk of infection, the NHS has now set out plans for the next phase of the Covid-19 and flu vaccination programme and have followed the latest expert guidance to bring the programme forward to maximise protection.

“I would encourage anyone who is eligible to come forward for both vaccinations as soon as possible once invited – it will help to protect you and those around you this winter.”

There will be no change to flu vaccinations to children which are being offered in schools from this month. Children who are aged 2 and 3-years-old will be offered the nasal vaccination against flu by their GP practice. The flu vaccination prevents children from getting seriously ill from flu and having to go into hospital, and to break the chain of transmission of the virus to the wider population.