My message to you this week is a simple one: Getting your flu vaccination is one of the best ways to protect yourself from the harms of flu.

If you’re eligible for the free one, book your appointment now.

This year, we’ll be entering a Winter season where we will see flu and COVID-19, which are two different viruses, circulating in our communities at the same time.

The flu vaccine will not protect you from getting COVID-19 but it could help prevent you from becoming more seriously ill.

We are currently seeing the impact of COVID-19 on the NHS and social care. Getting your flu vaccination is one of the most effective ways to reduce this pressure and enable you to play your part in helping protect our NHS services.

Those in the following groups, are among those eligible for a free flu vaccine:

  • 2-3 year olds
  • pregnant women
  • those under 65 years in clinical risk groups
  • those aged 65 years and over
  • carers and those in long-stay residential care homes
  • household contacts of those on the NHS shielded patient list, or of immunocompromised individuals

To book for yourself or someone you care for, simply ring your GP practice or pharmacist and book an appointment. There’s still plenty of time to get vaccinated, but the best time to have a flu vaccine is in the autumn, from the beginning of October to the end of November.

And if you’re not eligible for the free vaccine, but you’d like to protect yourself, many high street pharmacies offer vaccines and bookable appointments. Check websites and ring ahead for details and availability.

For more information, visit

Thanks for reading and please, look after each other.