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How to get your flu and booster jab

29/10/21

With COVID-19 case rates at worryingly high levels and some models suggesting a very heavy flu season, it is vital that if you’re eligible, you have your flu and booster vaccines as soon as they are offered.

You can find answers to frequently asked questions about how to have both vaccines below.

Who is eligible for a flu jab?

The Chief Medical Officer for Wales has recommended the following priority groups for flu vaccination this winter:

  • children aged two or three (age on August 31 2021)
  • children in primary and secondary schools (reception to Year 11 inclusive)
  • everyone aged 50 and over (age on March 31 2022)
  • all people aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions, including people with a learning disability or those who are morbidly obese
  • pregnant women
  • health and care workers, and carers
  • all adults resident in Welsh prisons

How and when will I be invited for my flu jab?

People in priority groups will be contacted with an invitation to recieve their flu vaccine at their GP surgery.

GP surgeries are working hard to offer flu vaccination appointments, and will continue to offer appointments to people in priority groups over the coming weeks.

GP surgeries remain very busy – please wait to be invited for your flu vaccination.

Please take up your offer of an appointment as early as possible to maximise your protection against flu this winter.

Members of NHS staff will be offered their flu vaccination at work. Carers working in a care home or for a domiciliary care agency should go to a local community pharmacy for vaccination, or follow arrangements made by their employer.

Children will be offered their flu vaccine via nasal spray at school, with vaccination clinics at primary schools across North Wales already underway. Children aged two and three will be called for appointments by their GP surgery.

Flu jabs at community pharmacies

Flu vaccinations are also available from most community pharmacies in North Wales.

People in priority groups can also book their flu vaccination at their local community pharmacy free of charge.

A full list of pharmacies offering flu vaccine appointments is available on the BCUHB website.

Who is eligible for a booster vaccine?

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommends that the following individuals should be offered a COVID-19 booster vaccine, if a minimum of six months have passed since their second dose:

  • those living in residential care homes for older adults;
  • all adults aged 50 years or over;
  • frontline health and social care workers;
  • all those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 (as set out in the Green Book), and adult carers; and
  • adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individual

How and when will I be invited for a booster vaccine?

Please wait for an appointment invitation in the post and don’t contact your GP surgery or our COVID-19 Vaccination Contact Centre, as they will not be able to book one for you any sooner.

Once you receive an appointment, please make every effort to keep to it. Please don’t turn up at our COVID-19 Vaccination sites without an appointment as you will be turned away.

Our COVID-19 vaccination teams are currently vaccinating frontline health and social care workers and people over the age of 80. We have begun sending appointment letters to those over 70.

Do I need to leave a gap between flu and booster vaccines?

Please take up the offer of the flu and booster jabs as soon as they are offered. There is no need to leave a gap between each jab. The JCVI has advised that it is safe for flu and booster vaccines to be administered at the same time or at any time after - no spacing is required

Will my flu and booster vaccine be given at the same time?

It is not standard practice to give the flu and COVID-19 booster vaccines at the same time, but there may be a small number of cases where timing and logistics allow us to do this. Your booster vaccine will in most cases be given at a COVID-19 Vaccination Centre, while your flu vaccine will in most cases be given at your GP surgery. Most people will receive separate appointment letters for both jabs.

Should I have my booster jab exactly six-months after my second dose?

The JCVI recommends that people most vulnerable to serious infection should be offered a COVID-19 booster vaccine, if a minimum of six months have passed since their second dose.

Please note that this does not mean that people should expect a booster jab appointment as soon as six months have passed since their second dose.

In line with JCVI guidance, we are inviting those eligible for a booster jab based on the same priority order as the first phase, provided at least six months have passed since their second dose.

Our teams are working flat out to get booster vaccines into people’s arms as quickly as possible.

We ask those who are eligible to please be patient and remember that there is no need to contact us to book an appointment. You will be contacted directly when it is your turn.

What else can I do to protect myself and my loved ones this winter?

There are a number of ways that you can help us to help you this winter. This includes taking your flu and booster jabs as soon as they are offered, if you are eligible.

Washing our hands, reducing the number of people we meet, and wearing a face covering in indoor public places will also help to protect ourselves and our loved ones from winter viruses such as flu and other respiratory conditions.

If you need to access care or support, please choose the most appropriate service for your needs by visiting the NHS 111 Wales or Betsi Health Board websites.

Further information

You can find further information on the flu vaccine on the Betsi Health Board website here.

For further information on the COVID-19 vaccine booster, please click here.