Winter vaccinations: Flu, Pneumonia, & Covid-19 Booster
Dr Charles Shepherd, Hon. Medical Adviser, ME Association:
To link in with the launch of the NHS flu vaccination campaign this year I have updated our flu and pneumococcal vaccine leaflet. I have included some information about COVID-19 boosters as well.
- This new free leaflet can be download here or included with any purchases made via the website shop.
The key message from this year’s flu vaccine campaign is that having been isolating ourselves from respiratory infections for almost two years our natural immunity to flu viruses has decreased significantly. So, we are likely to see a large rise in the number of people catching flu this winter.
At the same time, flu viruses and COVID-19 virus are going to be circulating in combination – which makes the chances of serious illness far more likely, especially in the elderly and people with underlying health conditions.
COVID-19 is not going to go away in the foreseeable future and it looks as though high case numbers may well persist into early 2022 before hopefully starting to decline.
Questions answered in this leaflet include:
- Are people with ME/CFS entitled to have a free NHS flu vaccine if they choose to do so?
- Is it safe to have a flu vaccine and a COVID-19 booster vaccine together?
- Will people with ME/CFS be automatically offered a COVID-19 booster jab?
- Should I have a COVID-19 booster if I had a bad reaction to the first or second dose?
- Can I get a COVID-19 booster at home if I cannot get to the surgery or vaccination hub?
Consequently, some experts are predicting that the number of deaths from flu this winter could even reach 60,000. So, the aim of this year’s campaign is to vaccinate around 40 million people. In addition to all the usual groups, anyone over the age of 50 can now have a free NHS flu jab and children up to the age of 16 will also be offered one.
All the key points relating to the 2021/2022 flu vaccine and eligibility criteria for the COVID-19 boosters are covered in the Questions and Answers section. More detailed information on flu vaccine, as well as the pneumococcal vaccine, can be found in the second part of this information leaflet.