Local News

Boost your immunity this winter

Hampshire County Council is lending its voice to the NHS call for everyone to ‘Boost your immunity this winter’ by getting the COVID-19 booster and ’flu vaccine

With COVID-19 infection rates continuing to rise across the county, eligible residents are being urged to get their booster and ’flu jabs as soon as possible. Respiratory viruses such as Coronavirus and ’flu spread more easily in the colder, wetter winter months and Prime Minister Boris Johnson has issued a call to arms urging everyone over 50 to get their booster jabs when they get the call.

Councillor Liz Fairhurst, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Adult Services and Public Health, said: “Vaccination remains our best protection against COVID-19 and winter viruses such as ’flu, so now is a good time for us all to get protected by getting vaccinated. Even if you have already had your first and second COVID-19 jabs, it is important that those who are eligible top-up their immunity by getting a booster as soon as it is offered. This is because the immunity provided by vaccines has been shown to wane over time, particularly for older adults and those more at risk from infections.”

Who can get the free ’flu jab this winter?

  • Adults aged 50+
  • Adults and children with a long-term health condition
  • Healthcare workers and carers
  • Most children aged 2-16 years
  • Pregnant women

Who can currently get the free COVID-19 booster?

  • Adults aged 50+
  • Carers and health and social care workers
  • People living and working in care homes
  • People with certain health conditions
  • People who live with someone who is immunocompromised

Councillor Fairhurst added: “We know from the data that vaccines save lives. Unlike this time last year, we now have an efficient, safe and effective vaccination programme. Getting your booster dose is the best way to protect yourself, your loved ones, and those around you from catching and spreading Coronavirus. In fact, research shows that if you get both ’flu and COVID-19 at the same time you are more likely to get seriously ill. Boosting your immunity this winter will also help the NHS cope with the increased demand for health services experienced at this time of year.”  

Residents eligible for the COVID-19 booster will be contacted by the NHS – if anyone has not been contacted within a week of reaching six months since their second jab they can call 119 or book online via the NHS National Booking Service. Those who are eligible for a free ’flu vaccine can book an appointment through their GP surgery or local pharmacy. More information about these vaccines and who can get them is available on the NHS website.

It is not too late to book a first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccination: anyone aged 16+ can book the vaccine through the National Booking System on the NHS website, go to a walk-in clinic or contact their GP surgery.