‘Why social care staff should get their flu and Covid-19 jabs this winter’

This article has been provided by NHS England as part of its campaign to maximise flu and Covid vaccination rates for health and social care staff this winter

Woman receiving Covid-19 vaccine from nurse
Photo: Halfpoint/Adobe Stock

By NHS England

During winter, viruses circulate more and more, and people are increasingly exposed to the dangers of flu and Covid-19.

Both can be life-threatening and getting both at the same time increases the risk of serious illness and, in rare cases, hospitalisation or even death.

If you’re a health or social care worker, or an unpaid carer or personal assistant to a friend or relative, you’re particularly at risk from catching flu and Covid-19 and passing them on to the people you care for. Making sure you’re up to date with your vaccinations can give you peace of mind that you’re doing all you can to keep them – as well as your family, friends and colleagues – safe.

The flu and Covid-19 vaccines are the best defence against these viruses. Even if you’re healthy, you can still catch and spread them to other people.

The viruses that cause flu change over time so the flu vaccine is needed every year. Similarly, Covid immunity fades, which is why frontline staff are being invited to top up their immunity again. And it’s never been easier to get protected, with thousands of sites offering the Covid-19 vaccine every day.

Covid-19 and flu vaccinations are free on the NHS and you are urged to get them as soon as possible. If you missed any previous doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, don’t worry, you can still get them from a vaccination centre near you.

As well as health and social care workers and carers, people aged 50 and over, those at higher risk or who are pregnant, and those who have or live with someone with a weakened immune system can book their flu and Covid-19 vaccinations now.

How to book your Covid-19 vaccination

Visit the National Booking Service, call 119 or find a walk-in appointment through the online vaccination walk-in finder.

How to book your flu vaccination

Visit the Flu Booking Service to book an appointment at a community pharmacy. You can also get a flu vaccination through your GP practice.

Frontline health and social care workers should get their flu vaccine from their employer. However, certain health and social care providers do not have access to occupational health schemes and cannot provide the flu vaccine to their employees.

If your employer doesn’t offer it, you can still get your flu vaccine for free on the NHS.

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