Last chance to get your winter vaccines before Christmas

Published Wednesday 6 December 2023 at 11:53

With the festive season approaching, now is the time to make sure you are protected against flu and Covid.

Blackburn Bus Station is hosting pop-up clinics for vaccines this week – offering free Flu and Covid vaccinations for all eligible people. There is no need to book – just come along.

The sessions are as follows:

  • Thursday, 7th December – 9am – 3pm
  • Friday, 9th December – 9am – 6pm
  • Saturday, 10th December – 10am – 2pm

You can get the vaccines if you are eligible:

Covid-19 autumn booster jabs:

  • aged 65 years old or over (you need to be 65 years old by 31 March 2024)
  • aged 6 months to 64 years old and are at increased risk
  • living in a care home for older adults
  • If you are pregnant
  • a frontline health or social care worker
  • aged 16 to 64 years old and are a carer
  • aged 12 to 64 years old and live with someone with a weakened immune system

Annual flu jabs:

The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to adults who:

  • are 65 and over (including those who will be 65 by 31 March 2024)
  • have certain health conditions
  • are pregnant
  • are in long-stay residential care
  • receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick

All eligible patients can continue to receive their vaccination until the end of March 2024 via local routes, such as your GP practices, local pharmacy, and antenatal services if you are pregnant.

If you want to use the online booking service for the vaccines though, there  is just over a week left to this before it closes.

The NHS online booking system, NHS App and 119 phone service will be closed for flu and COVID-19 vaccine bookings from 15 December, making 14 December the last day to make a booking.

You don’t have to get the flu and Covid jabs together – you can get the flu vaccine on its own, and the same for the Covid vaccine.

There are still a number of walk-in sites across Lancashire and South Cumbria that will continue to offer vaccinations until 31 January 2024 – although there are currently no walk-ins in Blackburn with Darwen, there are walk-in clinics nearby.

Details of these are available at

Anyone looking for help or advice on how to get a Covid vaccination can continue to call the vaccination helpline on 0300 7906 856.

Abdul Razaq, Blackburn with Darwen’s Director of Public Health, said:

We know Christmas and the festive season is a special time for friends, family and loved ones to gather together and have fun. Close prolonged contact in enclosed spaces also means that viruses have more chance to spread between individuals.

Getting the flu or the Covid vaccine, or both, is by far the most effective way to help you and your loved ones stay as well as possible this Christmas and New Year. Don’t miss out if you need to book your jabs and schedule them in before the deadline of 14 December.”

Ashraf Karbhari, lead nurse on the Lancashire and South Cumbria COVID-19 vaccination programme, said:

Christmas is always a time where family and friends get together to celebrate, but it’s also a time when Covid-19 and flu are more likely to be in circulation.

With less than two weeks to go until online bookings close, we would recommend that anyone who is eligible should take up the offer of getting their vaccines.

It is really quick and simple to book, and getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself, family and friends.”

Vaccination is the best way for people to ensure they and their families are protected against flu and COVID-19 this Christmas when the viruses spread more easily as people spend more time indoors.

It is crucial to get this protection, even if you have had a vaccine or been ill with flu or Covid before, as immunity fades over time and the viruses change each year.

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