Home Coronavirus: News and Advice Boost your immunity this winter

Boost your immunity this winter

by Cathy Sheel

This winter there are two essential vaccinations we all need to protect ourselves and our loved ones – flu and COVID-19 booster.

Vaccines are the best way to boost our immunity and as flu and COVID-19 will be circulating at the same time this winter getting vaccinated is the best way to protect ourselves, friends and family from these dangerous viruses.

Most adults and children are eligible for a free flu vaccine, a coronavirus booster – or both. If you are offered both vaccines, it’s safe to have them at the same time.

Am I eligible for a free flu vaccination?

The flu vaccine is given free to people who:

  • are 50 and over (including those who’ll be 50 by 31 March 2022)
  • have certain health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, severe asthma, bronchitis, liver and kidney disease.
  • are pregnant
  • are in long-stay residential care
  • 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
  • live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
  • frontline health or social care workers
  • two and three-year-old children and under-16s in ‘at risk’ groups
  • primary school pupils and those in Years 7 to 11 (given at schools)

Eligible groups can have their flu vaccination at a local pharmacy offering the service, at their GP practice or via maternity services.

Am I eligible for a COVID-19 booster?

Booster vaccines will be offered to people most at risk from COVID-19 who have had their second vaccine at least 6 months ago.

This includes:

  • people aged 50 and over
  • people who live and work in care homes and frontline health and social care workers
  • those aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts them at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19
  • carers aged 16 and over
  • people aged 16 and over who live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)

People who are pregnant and in 1 of the eligible groups can also get a booster dose.

If you are not a frontline health or social care worker, please wait to be contacted by the NHS before booking your booster dose.

Cllr Christine Bannon, Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Health said: “Vaccinations are the most effective way to boost our immunity and protect ourselves, and those around us, from dangerous viruses like flu and COVID-19, which can both be life threatening and are easily spread. Both these illnesses will be circulating at the same time this winter, so it’s more important than ever to make sure you receive your vaccinations as soon as you can.”

For more information, visit www.nhs.uk/wintervaccinations