Over-50s invited for Covid and flu jabs in England

time:2023-06-10 21:31:50source:Al Jazeera author:Press center 1

From Friday, everyone in England aged 50 or over will be able to book their Covid booster and flu jab.

It comes after last week's warnings that Covid cases are rising and that people should avoid vulnerable friends, colleagues and relatives if they feel unwell.

Over-50s in Wales and Northern Ireland are already eligible for both jabs.

The Scottish government says that it will begin inviting 50 to 64-year-olds soon.

It was announced in August that 26 million people in England would be eligible for an autumn Covid booster.

But not everyone could book their free vaccination immediately. Up until now, the list of eligible people included:

But now the final cohort in the group, people aged between 50 and 64, are being encouraged to get their jabs.

This is estimated to be about 12 million people.

The majority of these will be offered the newer bivalent vaccine which targets the original Covid-19 variant and the newer Omicron one.

But experts stress both the current and bivalent vaccines provide good protection from severe illness and hospitalisation from Covid-19.

It is a similar group to the Covid vaccine, but it does not include all carers.

But all primary and some secondary school children as well as two to three-year-olds are eligible for a free flu vaccine, and they are already receiving it.

In total, about 33 million people in England are eligible this year.

The Covid-19 vaccination can be booked online, or by phoning 119.

Over-50s will be able to book an appointment from Friday, with the first appointments available from Saturday.

Previously, the flu vaccine could only be booked over the phone or by going to a pharmacy which offered walk-in appointments.

But now more than 200 places - mostly local pharmacies - will be taking part in a trial which means some people can book their flu jabs online.

If you want to have both jabs at the same time, NHS England says you can ask during your first appointment, although it may not be possible.

But if you are successful, then you would need to cancel your second appointment.

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