People urged to get ‘winter strong’ with flu and covid-19 vaccinations

Posted on: 9th November 2023

People in Lincolnshire who are eligible but have not yet come forwards for their covid-19 and flu vaccinations are being urged to get ‘winter strong’ and join the thousands of others in the county who have already had their vaccinations.

With both covid-19 and flu expected to peak during the festive season and into the New Year, the importance of getting vaccinated is even more important, since the holidays are typically when we meet with family and friends, often indoors where both flu and covid-19 can spread more easily.

“With the weather now turning colder, maximising your protection against flu and covid-19 will be really important, since we know that respiratory viruses travel more easily and generally peak at this time of year,” explains Karen Hewinson, Head of Clinical Services, Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust.

“For the most vulnerable, both flu and covid-19 can cause severe illness and even hospitalisation.  Rather than risk this and potentially miss out on the festive celebrations, we’re urging anyone who’s eligible but not yet had their vaccinations to come forwards as soon as possible – it’s free, easy to book an appointment, and will give you the best possible protection.”

The encouragement to get ’winter strong’ will be supported by a nationwide advertising campaign until mid-December, which will specifically target pregnant women, and those people with ongoing health conditions, since these groups have recently had lower vaccination uptake despite being at higher risk.  The campaign will also engage with parents and guardians of children aged 2 and 3 (on 31st August) to get their children vaccinated against flu.

“Pregnant women and those with chronic health conditions are especially at risk from flu and covid-19.  If you are eligible for the flu and covid-19 vaccinations it’s because you are at higher risk of severe illness, which is why it’s really important to get vaccinated before winter arrives,” adds Karen.

“People who are immunosuppressed due to a health condition or medical treatment, including stem cell therapy are eligible for both vaccinations and it can be particularly crucial for them to get vaccinated.  There are wide range of conditions that can mean you are immunosuppressed and getting vaccinated not only offers individual protection but it also helps to protect those around us.

“Remember, if you have certain underlying health conditions, are 65 years-old and over, or are pregnant you are eligible for both a flu and a covid-19 vaccination.”

The full list of clinical risk groups, including immunosuppression, can be found in the Green Book Chapter 14a – Tables 3 and 4, pages 23-25.

GP practices and community pharmacies across Lincolnshire continue to offer both covid-19 and flu vaccinations.  Appointments can be booked using the National Booking Service or by calling 119.  For a list of the community pharmacies and a map showing their location, visit NHS Lincolnshire ICB’s ‘grab a jab’ page or click here.

On Saturday 2nd December, the vaccination team at the Weighing Rooms, Carholme Road, Lincoln, will be holding covid-19 vaccination clinics for 5-11 year-olds who are in a clinical risk group, between 9.30am – 1pm, and for 12-17 year-olds who are in a clinical risk group or household contacts of persons (adults or children) who are immunosuppressed, between 1.30pm – 4.30pm.  Either clinic can be booked by parents or guardians using the National Booking Service or by calling 119.

As well as this the vaccination team is continuing to roll out a number of outreach covid-19 vaccination clinics for patients registered at Old Leake Medical Centre, Merton Lodge Surgery, Stickney Surgery, Spilsby Surgery, The Suttons Medical Group, or Beechfield Medical Centre, which can be booked by calling 01522 301940, Monday to Friday between 9.15am and 4.45pm, or attended as a walk-in.

A list of the scheduled outreach clinics for patients at the practices listed above can be found by visiting the NHS Lincolnshire ICB’s grab a jab page here.