Colder weather, mixing with more people indoors and lower levels of natural immunity mean the chances of becoming unwell and catching flu, COVID-19 and shingles are high.
The good news is you can do something about it.
The NHS offers FREE vaccinations to those at higher risk of being unwell to help you this winter.
The flu vaccination is a safe and effective vaccine and is offered every year on the NHS to help protect people at risk of getting seriously ill from flu.
You are eligible for a free flu vaccination if you:
- are 50 and over (including those who’ll be 50 by 31 March 2022)
- have certain health conditions
- 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. For example, 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.
You can have the NHS flu vaccination at:
- your GP surgery
- a pharmacy offering the service
- your midwifery service if you’re pregnant
- a hospital appointment
Flu vaccinations for school children
The Essex Partnership University Trust (EPUT) Immunisation team will be attending schools across the area this autumn to administer the annual flu vaccinations.
Delivering the vaccination programme through schools is the best way to ensure the maximum number of children are protected against flu. Vaccination will also help reduce the spread of flu and protect the whole population, including those who cannot or do not have the vaccine.
If you have any queries please contact the EPUT immunisation team on 0300 790 0597 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Autumn COVID-19 booster vaccination
An autumn booster vaccination for COVID-19 will be available from 12 September 2022.Visit our COVID-19 information hub for more information Book your free COVID-19 booster
Shingles is caused by a virus called varicella zoster, the same virus that causes chickenpox. When you recover from chickenpox most of this virus is destroyed, but some survives and lies inactive in your body’s nervous system.
The virus can then become active again later in life, when your immune system has been weakened by age, stress, illness or certain treatments that can reduce your immunity.
The shingles vaccine helps reduce your risk of developing shingles by boosting your immunity. If you do get shingles, it can reduce how serious the symptoms will be.
You’re eligible for the shingles vaccine if you are aged 70 to 79.
The shingles vaccine is not available on the NHS to anyone aged 80 or over because it seems to be less effective in this age group.Find out more about the shingles vaccination