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Winter Flu Jab: Who is eligible for a flu vaccine, how to get one, and what to do if you’re not eligible

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Amid warnings flu could push health services to breaking point this winter, NHS experts are urging UK citizens to get vaccinated against the virus.

The urgent vaccine drive comes as health chiefs warned the coming winter could see 60,000 flu deaths as a result of lockdowns and social distancing lowering natural immunity.

This would be the worst flu epidemic in 50 years.

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In the biggest ever campaign of its kind, 35 million people in England, and 40 million across the UK are being offered a flu jab this year, including all secondary school children under 16 for the first time ever.

According to health experts, people infected with both Covid-19 and Flu are more than twice as likely to die as someone with just Covid.

Head of the newly formed UK Health Security Agency Dr Jenny Harries said it was vital anyone eligible had their flu jab, as less flu circulating last winter due to lockdown meant immunity would be low this winter.

Who is eligible for a flu jab?

The number of groups usually eligible to receive the flu vaccine has been increased as part of this year’s drive.

Here are all eligible groups to receive the flu vaccine:

  • All children who were aged two and three on August 31, 2021
  • All children in primary school and all secondary school pupils under the age of 16 on August 31
  • Anyone in clinical risk groups and between the age of six months and 50 years
  • Pregnant women
  • Anyone aged 50 and over
  • People in residential care
  • Unpaid carers
  • Close contacts of people with weakened immune systems
  • Health and care staff

How to get a flu jab

For those who are eligible for a free flu jab, you should be offered it via your GP, local pharmacy or, for younger patients, schools.

What to do if you’re not eligible

Vaccine supplies will be prioritised for vulnerable groups of people most at risk from flu and Covid-19, and possibly for residents of more deprived areas in the UK.

However, anyone who doesn’t fall into these groups might be able to pay for a flu vaccine at High Street chemists such as Boots, depending on supplies.

Flu jabs at Boots cost around £15.

Who will get flu and Covid jabs at the same time?

Depending on vaccine stocks, some people could be given flu and Covid-19 booster jabs at the same time.

Government advisors have recommended around 30 million people to be given a third booster jab for Covid.

Over 50s, frontline health and care workers and younger adults with health conditions would be top priorities for the booster.

According to Deputy chief medical officer for England Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, it may not be possible to give both vaccines at the same time for every single patient, but anyone offered both jabs at the same time “should take them”.

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https://www.mylondon.news/news/uk-world-news/winter-flu-jab-who-eligible-21799144