The start of September brings many things with it including changing leaves, back to school and, of course no autumn would be complete without worries of wintertime flus and a resurgence of the dreaded Covid coughs we still fear to this day. Luckily there is a way to slay those dreaded dragons before they reduce us to sneezing, snotty bags of germs – vaccinations!

Thanks to the incredible efforts of the NHS, the COVID-19 booster and flu vaccinations will be available to certain groups very soon, absolutely free of charge. So, let’s dive into why you should take advantage of these vaccines and how they can protect you and your loved ones.

First things first, who is eligible for the COVID-19 booster vaccine on the NHS?

Now let’s explore who qualifies for the flu vaccine on the NHS?

  • People who are over 65 and over (including those who will be 65 by 31 March 2024)
  • People who have certain health conditions
  • Pregnant people
  • Those in long-stay residential care
  • Those 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
  • People who live with someone who is more likely to get a severe infection due to a weakened immune system, such as someone living with HIV, someone who has had a transplant, or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis

Now, if you are eligible to get jabbed on the NHS, let’s recap why getting vaccinated is even more important if you are looking after someone who couldn’t manage without you this autumn:

  • Protect yourself! If you are looking after a loved one who would not be able to cope without you, keeping yourself in the best health possible should be top priority! By receiving the COVID-19 booster and flu vaccine, you will be safeguarding your health and reducing the risk of you getting so sick you can no longer offer the care your loved one needs.
  • Shield the vulnerable: If you’re caring for elderly family members, young children, or individuals with underlying health conditions that qualify for these vaccinations, booking an appointment becomes even more critical. These loved ones often have weaker immune systems and are more prone to severe complications from both COVID-19 and the flu.
  • Prevent healthcare system overload: By avoiding serve illness and complications associated with the flu and COVID-19 that might require hospitalisation, you help relieve pressure on our frontline healthcare workers. Let’s support them by keeping ourselves as healthy as possible!
  • Boost your, and your loved ones’ defences against new variants: The COVID-19 virus continues to evolve, and new variants have the potential to arise. The booster vaccine offers an extra layer of protection against these emerging strains, ensuring your body is well-equipped to fight them off.

Let’s not let our guard down as we transition into autumn. This year, take the initiative and prioritize your health by getting vaccinated. COVID-19 booster vaccinations will begin on 11 September for those most at risk, these include adult care home residents and people who are immunosuppressed. Then from 18 September the NHS will start to invite people in priority order of risk, and those eligible will be able to book an appointment on the National Booking Service, which can be reached by calling 119.

If you’re eligible for the flu vaccine, the NHS will let you know when you can get it, they have advised that people please wait to be invited before ringing their doctors surgery’s. Further information about the COVID booster is available here –