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COVID-19 and flu programme

The COVID-19 and Flu vaccines are safe and effective and give you the best protection against the viruses. All the latest information about the COVID-19 vaccine – who is eligible and how safe it is, can be found here

Eligible adults can book an appointment for a free Flu vaccination (available up to 31st March 2024) at their local GP practice or participating community pharmacy here.

Appointments can no longer be booked via the online National Booking System for COVID-19 or Flu vaccinations.

Walk-in vaccine clinics for COVID-19 and Flu may be available locally, please visit our walk-in clinic page.

2-3 year-olds will be invited to have their Flu nasal spray at their GP surgery.

Mums-to-be can also get a Flu vaccination at their local maternity service.

Be wise, immunise - get vaccinated and get protected.

This year's Autumn Winter COVID-19 and Flu vaccination campaign will include:

COVID-19 - In line with advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, those eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine this year include:

Flu - In line with advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, those eligible for a flu vaccine this year include:

  • those aged 65 years and over
  • those aged 6 months to 64 years in a clinical risk group, as laid out in the Immunisation Green Book, COVID-19
  • pregnant women
  • those in long-stay residential care homes
  • carers in receipt of carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person
  • persons aged 12 to 64 years who are household contacts (as defined in the Green Book) of people with immunosuppression
  • frontline workers in a social care setting without an employer led occupational health scheme including those working for a registered residential care or nursing home, registered domiciliary care providers, voluntary managed hospice providers and those that are employed by those who receive direct payments (personal budgets) or Personal Health budgets, such as Personal Assistants

 

  • those aged 65 years and over
  • those aged 6 months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups (as defined by the Green Book, chapter 19 (Influenza))
  • pregnant women
  • those in long-stay residential care homes
  • carers in receipt of carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person
  • persons aged 12 to 64 years who are household contacts (as defined in the Green Book) of people with immunosuppression
  • frontline workers in a social care setting without an employer led occupational health scheme including those working for a registered residential care or nursing home, registered domiciliary care providers, voluntary managed hospice providers and those that are employed by those who receive direct payments (personal budgets) or Personal Health budgets, such as Personal Assistants
  • all children aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2023
  • school-aged children (from Reception to Year 11)

*The age cohorts for flu and COVID- 19 vaccinations have been aligned and will allow for co-administration.

All those who turn 65 years by 31 March 2024 are eligible for both vaccinations at any point in the campaign.

The JCVI also advises primary course vaccination for individuals in the above cohorts who have not had any previous doses should be offered. They should receive a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine during the campaign period.

  • The age cohorts for flu and COVID-19 vaccinations have been aligned and will allow for co-administration. This approach maximises clinical protection, and therefore the resilience of health and care services, over the later winter months when flu and COVID-19 are most likely to be prevalent.
  • By supporting greater levels of co-administration of vaccines there is an opportunity to achieve greater efficiency in delivery for providers at what is already a busy time of year.
  • In support of co-administration people will be able to book a joint flu and COVID-19 appointment on the NBS booking system which will the experience for patients and offers efficiency for providers.

  • Flu can be extremely dangerous, even life threatening for some, particularly people with certain health conditions. The flu vaccine is safe and effective, and it’s offered every year to help protect people at risk of getting seriously ill from flu.
  • If you’re eligible for a free vaccine, it’s important to get it every autumn because the viruses that cause flu changes each year. This means the flu (and the vaccine) this year may be different from last year.
  • Preventing people from becoming ill, hospitalised or dying from Flu and COVID-19 through vaccination is one of the main tools we have to protect our health and social care services. 
  • Latest statistics from 22/23 on excess illness, deaths and staff absences due to flu and COVID-19 tell us that:
  • There were around 15,000 deaths associated with flu, and 10,000 deaths associated with COVID-19, in England from September to March 22/23.
  • Autumn 22/23 wave of flu came early last year in November, so it is possible that this may happen again this year. 
  • It takes 2-3 weeks for the vaccines to provide immunity and so early immunisation is essential.  
  • The impact on health and social care services was significant and, through higher levels of vaccination of staff and patients/clients, more of the impact could have been avoided.
  • You can get your flu vaccine at a participating local pharmacy or by booking an appointment at your GP practice. Some community pharmacies are now taking bookings online or from calls to 119, here

  • COVID-19 is still with us and is still making people very ill.
  • Over the course of the Q4 and Spring booster campaign, in our hospital Trusts 2,165 patients were admitted with COVID as primary reason at the start of seasonal booster delivery.
  • Highest case rate management was in Northumbria Trust at 483 patients and lowest in North Tees at 169 patients. Of those admitted to hospital 28% were unvaccinated, 1% had a 1st does only, 5% two doses, 13% three doses, 14% four doses and 10% five doses. Of those admitted to hospital 74% of patients had not had a vaccination in the last 12 months.
  • Those at increased risk from COVID-19, due to a health condition or medical treatment, are eligible for a seasonal booster for extra protection this winter, when viruses spread much more easily and can cause greater harm.
  • This includes people who are pregnant, people who have a lung or heart condition, kidney or liver disease, problems with the brain or nerves, a learning disability, diabetes or a severe mental illness. It also includes people with weakened immune systems and the people they live with aged 5 and over.
  • If you are eligible, it is important to top up your protection even if you have had earlier vaccinations or have had the virus, as your immunity from these fades over time.
  • It can take 14 days for the vaccination to take full effect, so everyone due a further dose is encouraged to get it as early as possible for maximum protection.
  • COVID-19 vaccines and the flu vaccine can be co-administered. This year the NHS is making it easier to receive both of these seasonal vaccinations at the same time. However, if getting both vaccines together is not possible, you should get each vaccination as soon as you can for better protection ahead of winter, rather than waiting.
  • You can have your seasonal COVID-19 vaccine if it's been at least three months since you had your previous dose. If you haven’t already had your vaccine:

Most people who are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination can book using any of the options available at www.nhs.uk/get-covid-vaccine. Some people may need additional support.

Home visits

If you usually get your care at home and you need a home visit, please contact your GP surgery in the first instance. If they are not currently providing COVID-19 vaccination services, they should be able to arrange a home visit for you with another local NHS service. ​

Stem cell transplant or CAR-T therapy

If you have had a stem cell transplant or CAR-T therapy, your specialist or GP may advise you that you need to be referred for re-vaccination against COVID-19. They must provide a completed patient specific direction form to advise on the best timing for your vaccination around planned treatment.

Contacting NHS North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board

For patients who are housebound, or newly severely immunosuppressed, the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB) can help you to arrange a vaccination appointment in your area if you cannot book in the usual way. If your specialist or GP practice has been unable to organise your vaccination for you, please contact your local NHS service using the contact details below.

Email: necsu.immunosuppressedney@nhs.net

Tel: (0191) 486 2001- Monday to Friday 9am till 4pm.

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