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People in Midlands asked to book winter vaccines by 14 December

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Viruses that cause flu and Covid spread more easily as it gets colder, warns NHS England director, Roz Lindridge

The National Health Service (NHS) has reminded people in Midlands that online bookings for winter vaccines will be closed in two weeks.

Those who are eligible for flu and Covid vaccines are encouraged to go online or on the NHS App and book an appointment by 14 December 2023, and get vaccinated before 15 December.

It takes up to two weeks to build up maximum defences against the viruses, and so it is important to get the vaccines administered ahead of the winter holidays for better protection, the NHS said.

Viruses spread more easily as it gets colder and as we spend more time indoors in close contact, warned NHS England director, Roz Lindridge, who is responsible for overseeing the vaccination programme across the Midlands.

“As we all set to gather with friends and family over the festive and new year period, it’s best to get vaccinated now to make sure you are protected from getting sick,” she said.

People who have previously had a vaccination or been ill with flu or Covid-19 before should also get the vaccines as “immunity fades over time and these viruses change each year, so it is important you top up your protection,” Roz added.

After 14 December, those eligible may be able to book a Covid-19 vaccination directly with a pharmacy, or visit a walk-in site, but there will be fewer appointments and you may have to travel further, the NHS said.

Those eligible for a free flu vaccine can still contact their GP surgery or visit a pharmacy offering the service (If 18 or over).

Everyone aged 65 and over, pregnant women, and children aged 6 months and above with certain health conditions are eligible for both winter vaccines.

Care home residents, frontline health and social care staff, unpaid carers and household contacts of people with a weakened immune system, should also get vaccinated against flu and Covid.

The lifesaving NHS winter vaccination programme in the Midlands has delivered more than 2,900,000 flu jabs and over two million Covid vaccines to people most at risk since it began.

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Current Issue December 2023

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