Residents of older adult care homes and people who are housebound will begin receiving their COVID-19 and flu vaccinations as of this week, as the NHS kickstarts its winter vaccinations campaign.
The adult COVID-19 and flu vaccination programme, which has been brought forward in line with expert advice due to the risks presented by a new covid variant, is prioritising those at greatest risk.
Following on from the roll-out to care homes and people who are housebound from Monday 11 September, other eligible groups will begin to be invited to get their top up protection ahead of winter.
NHS staff across Surrey have been working hard to prepare for the earlier start of the programme, with more sites expected to take part in the campaign this year to make it as easy as possible for people to get protection.
From 18 September, people will be able to book their COVID-19 vaccination through the National Booking Service (NBS), the NHS App or by calling 119. Equally, people will be able to use NBS to book their flu jabs from 2 October.
Eligible groups may be offered a vaccination sooner by GP surgeries or other local NHS services.
People are being encouraged to get both vaccinations as soon as they can and not delay, due to the risk of the new COVID-19 variant and ahead of the winter period.
Last year, the NHS faced the ‘twindemic’ of flu and covid with high occupancy in hospitals and record pressure on staff and plans for this winter are already underway.
Joe Todd, Managing Director for Glenlyn Medical Centre, whose team have begun to administer vaccinations at care homes this week said:
We are delighted to be part of the launch of the autumn/winter covid-19 vaccination programme which begins this week.
Over the coming days and weeks, we will be visiting a number of other care homes as well as vaccinating those most at risk.
I would encourage everyone that is eligible for the top-up to come forward when invited.
As in previous years, children in reception to year 11 will be offered the free nasal spray flu vaccine, delivered in schools by immunisation teams in the region. Children aged 2 and 3 years (on or before 31 August) will be eligible for the free nasal spray via their GP practice.
The most effective vaccine for children is the nasal vaccine, which is even more convenient and easily administered when compared to a jab.