Why you should get your Covid-19 booster and flu vaccine

The NHS is now rolling out booster doses of Covid-19 vaccines and flu jabs.

The number of Covid-19 cases in the UK remains very high. Vaccines are protecting us and without them, we would be seeing many more people who are seriously ill.

However, no vaccine is 100% effective. Some Covid-19 infections will still lead to a serious illness, even in people who have received two doses of vaccine. Flu will also be a threat this winter.

We know that the protection provided by Covid-19 vaccines can weaken over time – particularly in the elderly or in people with medical problems. A booster (third) dose of a vaccine improves your immunity and reduces your risk of a serious illness.

We want as many people as possible to receive Covid-19 boosters and flu jabs before the onset of winter when pressures on the NHS increase.

The people being targeted for boosters are those at highest risk of serious illness and death from a Covid-19 infection. This includes people aged 50 and over, and people under 50 with certain medical conditions. NHS staff, people who live and work in care homes, and people who are the main carer of someone at high-risk are also being invited for boosters. These groups are also eligible for a flu jab.

If people don’t attend for their vaccinations this will lead to more cases of Covid-19 and flu, and increased pressures on the NHS during the winter. The number of deaths will also increase. This then may require the government to bring back some Covid-19 restrictions.

By getting a Covid-19 booster and a flu jab, you are protecting yourself and the other people you live and work with. So please go out and get your vaccinations as soon as you can.

A version of this article was first published in the Daily Express.