WINTER vaccinations for flu and Covid-19 have been brought forward due to “increased risk” posed by a new Covid varient.
Gloucestershire care home residents and those who are housebound are eligible for flu and Covid boosters from Monday (September 11).
The NHS in Gloucestershire is reassuring everyone eligible that they will be contacted soon, and do ot need to get in touch at this time.
Following the initial phase, jabs will be offered to those most at risk, including people with underlying health conditions and those who have had immunosuppressive treatment, radiotherapy or chemotherapy
Carers, pregnant women, people with certain health conditions and health and social care staff will all be among the groups to be offered jabs this winter, as well as adults aged 65 and over.
Where possible, COVID and flu jabs will be offered at the same time, subject to supplies.
School pupils will also be able to sign up to their school’s vaccination programme later in the autumn and winter.
Dr Andy Seymour, Chief Medical Officer for NHS Gloucestershire, said: “Gloucestershire has a strong track record for delivering vaccinations and is well placed to bring the delivery of the autumn/winter programme forward in order to protect vulnerable people from the new COVID variant.
"Our incredible vaccination teams are well practiced at rolling out the delivery of vaccines quickly, and we’re confident that they will once again rise to the challenge to ensure everyone who is eligible can access a COVID booster or flu jab this autumn.
"If you’re eligible for one or both of these vaccines, it’s really important to take up the offer as soon as you’re invited to reduce your risk of becoming seriously unwell.
"We would ask that you do not make contact with your GP surgery at the moment, if you’re eligible for vaccinations you will receive an invite in the coming weeks.
"If you already have an appointment scheduled, you don’t need to do anything, you may hear from your practice to bring this forward if possible.”
How to access a vaccination in Gloucestershire
• Via appointment at a GP-led primary care network vaccination centre – Please note that these appointments are not available on the national booking system (NBS), people will receive an invite directly from local NHS services to book when it’s their turn. People may be offered their COVID booster and flu jab at the same appointment subject to supplies.
• Via the national booking system (COVID booster only) - open from 18 September, some people may choose to book an appointment at a number of community pharmacies across the county using the NBS telephone number and website (www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination or call 119).
Who is eligible?
• residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults (COVID booster and flu jab)
• frontline health and social care workers (COVID booster and flu jab)
• all adults aged 65 years and over (COVID booster and flu jab)
• people aged 5 to 64 years with certain health conditions (COVID booster and flu jab)
• persons aged 5 to 64 years who are household contacts of people with a severely weakened immune system (COVID booster and flu jab)
• people who 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 (COVID booster and flu jab)
• pregnant women (COVID booster and flu jab)
• two and three-year olds (flu nasal spray)
• primary school and secondary school pupils up to year 11 (flu nasal spray, delivered via the school vaccination programme)