NHS invites millions of over-50s to book Covid autumn booster from Friday.
The NHS will open online and phone bookings for Covid autumn boosters for around 12 million people over 50 from Friday.
The service will allow some people who are eligible for a flu vaccine to book an appointment online under a new pilot, with over 200 websites around the country.
People will still be able to book flu vaccinations through their GP practice or by walking in to a participating community pharmacy.
NHS Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard said the roll out has taken a “flying start.” Praising the frontline staff, she added, “we have invited twice as many people as we did last autumn and we have jabbed twice as many people as we did last autumn.”
Over 7 million people have already received their autumn booster in just over a month, while around 26 million people are eligible for the autumn Covid booster.
It comes as the health leaders urge people to take both the jabs to avoid the risk of a “twindemic” of the two illnesses this winter.
Chief Medical Adviser at the UK Health Security Agency Dr Susan Hopkins said: “The double threat of widely circulating flu and Covid this year is a real concern, so it’s crucial that you take up the free flu vaccine as soon as possible if you are offered it. It will help protect you from severe flu this winter, and even save your life.”
Around 33 million people will be eligible for the flu vaccine this year, including some children who will be given the flu nasal spray.
Steve Russell, NHS Director for Vaccinations and Screening said: “Vaccinations are our strongest weapon against these viruses and NHS staff are once again doing all they can to protect the public.”
The NHS explains that although most sites are co-administering the flu and Covid vaccines, some people may have to book two separate appointments for two different vaccines.
Warning about an extremely challenging winter for the NHS, Pritchard said, “It is vital to get your protection against both Covid and flu, so please come forward and book in when you can.”