Millions of Britons are being urged to get the flu vaccination after the Government expanded its list eligible for the free NHS flu jab in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. With autumn here, now is the time to get the jab done to protect yourself for flu season in the coming months. However, high street chemist Boots has had to suspend flu vaccinations for under-65s.
Boots expects to deliver more than a million flu jabs this winter, however has already had to suspend appointments.
Flu season typically begins in December, but cases have been seen as early as October some years.
With the impact of coronavirus on the NHS, the Govenrment is encouraging Britons to get vaccinated to prevent a double whammy of COVID-19 and the flu.
However some looking to get vaccinated are finding themselves without appointments after Boots suspended flu jabs.
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Why can’t I get the flu vaccine at Boots?
Boots has suspended the jab for under-65s due to “unprecedented demand”.
A spokeswoman for Boots UK said: “We know that this year, our customers have been more conscious than ever about protecting the health of themselves and their families, and protecting against flu has been front of mind for many of us.
“As a result, we have seen more people than ever booking early to get their flu vaccinations.
“We have been closely monitoring our stock levels, and made the decision this weekend to pause taking new bookings for our private and NHS under 65s Flu Vaccination Services.
“This is to make sure we can vaccinate the patients who have already booked their appointments with us.
“We are still able to continue supporting the NHS over 65s Flu Vaccination Service due to stock availability of the trivalent vaccination, which the NHS recommends for people aged 65 and over.”
The surge in people looking to get vaccinated comes after the Govenrment has told the nation getting the flu jab is more important than ever this year.
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Health officials have made clear the threat the NHS faces should cases of both the flu and coronavirus start to mount this winter.
Already a surge in coronavirus cases has triggered further lockdown measures across the UK as the Government looks to stem the spread of the virus.
The flu kills approximately 11,000 people in the UK each year, and causes thousands more to be hospitalised.
Now to prevent the impact of both the flu and coronavirus, vaccines for the seasonal flu will be more widely offered on the NHS.
As well as key health workers, those with existing health conditions and those shielding, primary school children and Year 7 pupils will be given the vaccine.
Children will be given the flu “nasal spray” in schools in a bid to reduce community transmission.
For parents of younger children, two and three year olds can be vaccinated through their GP. Pregnant women may also be offered the vaccine by their midwife.
The vaccine is available through GPs, in pharmacies and also privately for those who are not eligible for the free jab.
Who is eligible for a flu jab?
Flu vaccinations will be provided on the NHS for those most vulnerable, or at risk of developing severe illness from the flu.
Adults aged 65 and overthose with long-term health conditionspregnant women
The vaccine will also be made available to household contacts of people on the NHS Shielded Patient List.
Health and all social care workers who have direct contact with those they care for will also be given the flu vaccination.