Eligible people living in the Black Country will soon be invited to come forward for a flu and COVID-19 vaccine.
The vaccination programmes are set to start from 11 September, with care home residents and those most at risk first in line to receive a dose.
The offer will then be opened up to the remaining eligible groups from 18 September, including:
- all adults aged 65 years and over
- people aged 6 months to 64 years in a clinical risk group
- frontline health and social care workers
- people aged 12 to 64 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression
- people aged 16 to 64 years who are carers and staff working in care homes for older adults and pregnant women.
The NHS has been asked to bring the programme forward and will be working quickly to ensure as many eligible people as possible are vaccinated by the end of October due to the increased risks presented by the COVID-19 variant BA.2.86.
The annual flu jab will be made available to these groups at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine, where possible, to ensure they are protected ahead of winter.
Eligible people will be able to book an appointment via the
National Booking Systemfrom w/c 18 September. Appointments will also be available on the NHS App or by calling 119.
Dr Ananta Dave, Chief Medical Officer for the NHS Black Country Integrated Care Board, said: “The NHS has now set out plans for the next phase of the COVID-19 and flu vaccination programme.
“Vaccinations are our best defence against flu and COVID-19 ahead of what could be a very challenging winter.
“It’s important to remember that COVID-19 hasn’t gone away, and with the potential for this new covid variant to increase the risk of infection, we are following the latest expert guidance and bringing the covid vaccination programme
forward with people able to get their flu vaccine at the same time to maximise protection. So, I would encourage anyone who receives an invite for either vaccine to please get booked in as soon as possible.”
Calls to 119 are free from mobiles and landlines and the booking service provides support in 200 different languages.
Those who have difficulties communicating or hearing, or are a BSL user, can use textphone 18001 or the NHS 119 British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter service.
For more information on the COVID-19 autumn vaccine visit NHS – Getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
For more information on the flu vaccine, visit NHS – Flu vaccine.