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Grab your jab - Local Age UK urges older people to take up Winter vaccine offers

Published on 12 November 2021 04:57 PM

Wherever possible, Age UK West Sussex, Brighton & Hove is urging all older people to have both the Covid-19 booster vaccine and the flu jab this winter to help them stay fit and well.

Everyone aged 50+ is eligible for a free flu vaccine and Covid booster vaccination this winter. You need to wait six months from your second Covid-19 vaccination before you can get your booster. If you’re eligible, you don’t need to wait until you’re contacted by your GP, you can book online at or call 119.

You can get your flu jab at any time it is offered, and you may also be able to pop in or book it at your local pharmacy. It is safe to get both vaccines at the same time. Adults at high risk from flu are often most at risk of becoming very ill with COVID-19 too, and both can be serious illnesses. Each year on average 11,000 people in England die of flu, and in 2017/18 Public Health England estimated that the figure reached a staggering 22,000 deaths, the highest death toll in recent years.

Last year cases of flu were unusually low due to the pandemic restrictions, but experts expect flu to return as a significant risk this winter as restrictions have eased. This makes it vital that older people protect themselves by having the vaccinations that are offered to them.

Helen Rice, Chief Executive at Age UK West Sussex, Brighton & Hove said: “Our advice to older people is that if you only do one thing to protect your health this Autumn please get your Covid booster vaccine and a flu jab. It’s perfectly safe to have them together, and often more convenient too, so if that’s what you are offered please accept – you’ll be doing yourself a lot of good and helping to protect everyone else you come into contact with too."

7 things you might not have realised...

1.The flu is worse than having a heavy cold
Flu kills - flu is much worse than a heavy cold. While some people will get the flu and recover others will get complications caused by flu and become seriously ill and have to go to hospital.

2. The flu vaccine does not give you flu
It is impossible to get the flu from the adult vaccination as it doesn’t contain the live virus. It takes two weeks from being vaccinated to it becoming fully effective, so it is important to get it as soon as possible.

3. Vaccination side effects are likely to be mild
Risk of a serious side effect from having winter vaccines is very low. For the most part, the side effects are mild, and short-lived. Most common is experiencing soreness around the site of the injection and aching muscles.

4. There are more places to get vaccines now than ever before
GP surgeries, some community pharmacies such as ones in supermarkets provide the adult flu vaccination.

5. You can get the flu or Covid-19 vaccine if you aren’t feeling your best.
If you have a minor illness like a cold you are ok to book in your flu vaccine, but it is recommended that you wait until significant illness or fever have passed before having the jab.

6. For the most protection from Covid-19 this winter’s Covid-19 booster vaccine is important
The first two doses of the Covid-19 vaccination were crucial in reducing your risk of severe illness and death from Covid-19. However, over time, as with many vaccines, the immunity imparted declines so to keep yourself safe this winter getting the booster vaccine is really important.

7. The Covid-19 booster vaccine can be of a different type to your first doses
The Pfizer vaccine has been recommended as the best vaccine to get for your Covid-19 booster, irrespective of which vaccine you had for your first two doses.