How to get the autumn Covid booster jab and flu vaccine and who is eligible?

The autumn booster jab rollout has begun. Credit: PA

Millions of people aged 50 and over will be able to book their autumn booster and flu vaccines from Friday, as the NHS Covid and flu programmes prepare for the winter.

Online and phone bookings will open to around 12 million people aged between 50 and 64 to book their Covid jabs.

The service will allow some people eligible for a flu vaccine to book an appointment online under a new pilot for the first time, for a spot at one of around 200 sites across the country.

More than seven million people have already had their autumn booster in just over a month, after almost two million jabs began being delivered to people aged 65 and over, and those most at risk from Covid infection.

Record numbers of sites have been delivering autumn boosters since the campaign began a month ago, while the flu jab is being offered at thousands of community pharmacies and GP surgeries across England.

The public can still book flu vaccinations through their GP practice or by visiting a participating community pharmacy.

The NHS advise people to call 119 if you need help.

Approximately 26 million people are eligible for an autumn Covid-19 booster.

Health leaders are warning of a ‘twindemic’ of the two illnesses this winter, and have urged people to come forward for their jabs.

“As we approach what could be an extremely challenging winter for the NHS, it is vital to get your protection against both Covid and flu so please come forward and book in when you can," NHS Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard said.

“If you are between 50 and 64 then please do not hesitate to log on and book yourself an appointment; it is the best way to protect yourself from serious illness this winter," NHS Director for Vaccinations and Screening Steve Russell said.

Around 33 million people in England will be eligible for a free flu vaccine this year, including all primary-age and some secondary-age children, who will be offered a nasal spray.

While sites are co-administering the flu and Covid vaccines where possible, people may be required to book two separate appointments for the different vaccines.

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Who is eligible for the Autumn Covid booster vaccine?

In line with advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, those eligible for an autumn Covid booster this year include:

  • residents in care homes for older adults

  • staff working in care homes for older adults

  • frontline health and social care workers

  • all adults aged 50 years and over

  • persons aged 5 to 49 years in a clinical risk group, as set out in the Green Book

  • persons aged 5 to 49 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression

  • persons aged 16 to 49 years who are carers, as set out in the Green Book.

Who is eligible for the flu jab?

  • people aged 50 and over

  • those aged between six months and 49 years with a specified health condition

  • some secondary school-aged children

  • 2 and 3-year-olds

  • pregnant women

  • primary school-aged children

  • those in care homes

  • people who are carers, as set out in the Green Book

  • frontline healthcare workers

  • frontline social care staff who do not have access to occupational health schemes

  • household contacts of people with weakened immune systems.

People can visit the NHS website for a full list of pharmacies offering a free NHS flu vaccination, including those not part of the NHS pilot.

More than 131 million Covid vaccines have been administered by NHS staff and volunteers since the first jab was delivered outside of clinical trials in December 2020.