Flu vaccine roll out begins across Milton Keynes

    The annual flu vaccination programme is now underway across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes, with many GP practices and pharmacies offering the flu jab.

    Those eligible, including people aged over 50, including those who'll be 50 by 31 March 2022, pregnant women, frontline health care staff and school age children, are all being offered the free vaccine in the run up to winter.

    People in long-stay residential care homes and carers are also eligible, as well as close contacts of anyone who is immunocompromised.

    Clinics will be run at various practices and pharmacies over the next couple of months and will be on an appointment-only basis.

    Dhanna Singh, 70, who was jabbed at Smarta Healthcare/Pharmacy in Bedford last week, said: “It’s important that I get the flu jab as I’m at higher risk of getting unwell.  I have my flu jab every year to help protect me and always feel fine afterwards.”

    The COVID-19 booster programme will run alongside the flu programme, and many clinics across the area will be offering both doses at the same time, where possible, to those eligible for both types of vaccination.

    Susan and Keith Chapillon said: “We got our booster jab today, alongside our flu jabs, which is great.  Everyone who had their second dose of the vaccine over six months ago should get the booster jab as soon as they can to protect themselves.”

    Amongst those receiving their COVID-19 booster jab was John Lewis from Bedfordshire.  He said: “I’m having the booster jab to not only protect myself, but also my wife.  Touch wood, have never had any major health issues and so I want to make sure I stay protected.”

    John’s wife also received her booster dose at the clinic last week and said: “I came with my husband today so we could both get our booster jabs.  We were one of the first few people to get the vaccine back in December, with our second dose in January.  I’ve had the booster jab today to help me feel more protected, because of my age I have to be careful.”

    Appointments for a COVID-19 booster dose can only be booked if it's been at least six months since your second dose of the vaccine.  This means that if you are already eligible for a flu jab you should have this jab as soon as you can and not put it off until your booster is also due.

    People are asked not to contact their GP to arrange their booster and flu jabs.  The NHS will be in touch when you become eligible and invite you to book an appointment.

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