Covid: Where to book the flu vaccine in Sheffield as health officials warn of deadly virus season this winter
Health officials are warning there could be up to 60,000 deaths this winter as Covid and flu could circulate at the same time.
Experts say this could be the first winter where both viruses are in full force, with concerns that more people will become ill and put more pressure on hospitals across the country.
According to the latest research, those who contract both Covid and flu at the same time are twice as likely to die as someone with Covid alone.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid is urging people to get both the flu vaccine and Covid booster jab this season to ease pressure on the NHS and protect themselves from becoming seriously ill.
It comes as the Government has launched the biggest flu programme in the NHS’s history, with more than 35 million people in England eligible for a free vaccine, and the Covid booster jab programme is now well underway.
This is everything you need to know.
What has been said about getting the flu vaccine this winter?
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “This year we are rolling out the largest flu vaccine programme in our history, alongside the new Covid-19 booster vaccine rollout; both are important to provide vital protection not only to yourself, but also your loved ones while also helping to ease pressure on the NHS.
“The Covid-19 vaccine programme is a fantastic example of how successful vaccination programmes can be – with around 130,000 lives saved.
“It is vital we continue that incredible progress with all those eligible ensuring they get both their flu and Covid-19 booster injections as soon as they are invited.”
England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam added: “Not many people got flu last year because of Covid-19 restrictions, so there isn’t as much natural immunity in our communities as usual.
“We will see flu circulate this winter; it might be higher than usual and that makes it a significant public health concern.
“Covid-19 will still be circulating and with more people mixing indoors, sadly some increases are possible.
“For the first time we will have Covid-19 and flu co-circulating. We need to take this seriously and defend ourselves and the NHS by getting the annual flu jab and the Covid-19 booster when called.
"Both these viruses are serious: they can both spread easily, cause hospitalisation and they can both be fatal. It is really important that people get their vaccines as soon as they can.”
Who is eligible for the flu vaccine in Sheffield?
With the Government pushing the flu vaccine harder than ever this year due to concerns over how it will react with Covid infections, more people than ever are eligible for the jab.
A new film has also been launched to encourage people to get vaccinated, which sees media medics Dr Amir Khan, Dr Dawn Harper and Dr Karan Ranj explain why it is more important than ever for people to get their winter vaccines as soon as possible.
The Sheffield CCG has published a list of those who are eligible to get a free flu vaccine this year, and it includes those in a healthcare profession, children aged 2-11 years old and pregnant women, as well as a number of other vulnerable people.
The full list of people able to access a free flu vaccine in Sheffield this winter are:
- Pregnant women
- Children aged 2- 11 years old
- Members of a shielding household
- 65+ year-olds
- Those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or who are the main carer of an older or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill
- Those with a long-term health condition such as: a heart problem, a chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including bronchitis, emphysema or asthma (that requires an inhaled or tablet steroid treatment, or has led to hospital admission in the past)
- Those with a kidney disease
- Those with lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (such as steroid medication or cancer treatment)
- Those with liver disease
- Those who have had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
- Those with diabetes
- Those with a neurological condition, e.g. multiple sclerosis (MS), cerebral palsy
- Those with a learning disability
- Those with a problem with your spleen, e.g. sickle cell disease, or you have had your spleen removed
- Those who are seriously overweight (BMI of 40 and above)
Where can I get my flu vaccine in Sheffield?
The Sheffield CCG says that if you fall in to one of the categories above, your GP will contact you to arrange your vaccination appointment, where you will be able to get a free jab at your registered clinic.
If you haven't heard from your GP, or if you're not sure if you're eligible for the vaccination, you should contact your GP or pharmacist.
You may be asked to wear a face covering, and you shouldn’t turn up to the surgery unless you already have an appointment.
Those who are not eligible for the free NHS flu jab can pay for one privately if they would like to.
You can visit the Patient Access website to book a private flu vaccination, or you can head to your local Superdrug or Lloyds Pharmacy and ask for one.
You will have to pay if you don’t meet the criteria – with prices from around £13.99 – but you will be able to get an appointment.
Deep Patel, Lloyds Pharmacy’s Vaccination Services Manager, said: “We have confirmed over 400 thousand flu jab appointments. It’s great to see such a high number of bookings already confirmed, and particularly to see our most at-risk customers being proactive in booking their flu vaccine.
"Even with the easing of restrictions, it’s very likely that we’ll see much greater levels of transmission of the influenza virus this winter and therefore many more cases.
"And it’s important to note that it does take time for the body to develop its antibodies after any vaccine which is why planning ahead is essential to ensure you are protected during the winter months and beyond.
"Bookings for the flu vaccine can be made by visiting the LloydsPharmacy.com website.”
How do I get a Covid booster jab in Sheffield?
People in Sheffield are being urged to have their Covid vaccine booster injections as letters and text messages have been sent out, inviting them to get jabbed.
Everyone aged 50 and over is eligible for a Covid booster jab, along with frontline health and social care workers, and those aged 16-49 with an underlying health condition which puts them at greater risk from the virus.
People don’t need to contact the NHS about their booster, as they will be invited when it is their turn.
A minimum of six months is required between the second and booster doses, meaning some people in the original priority groups may not become eligible until early next year.
Once invited, people can book an appointment online at using the NHS website for one of the vaccination centres across the region. Alternatively, you can book by phoning 119.
You may be offered your Covid booster at the same time as having your flu jab.