Winter vaccines are here – are you eligible?

Published Monday 25 September 2023 at 10:50

Blackburn with Darwen Council health chiefs are advising eligible people to get vaccinated now to protect themselves from winter viruses.

Autumnal weather has now arrived and the NHS Covid vaccine schedule has been moved forward due to a new variant of the virus which is circulating.

Annual flu jabs are also currently being offered to eligible people.

From September 18th, the NHS started to invite people in priority order of risk. The national booking system has also launched where all eligible people can make an appointment online. Just search ‘book COVID-19 vaccination’ here:

As well as those identified and invited nationally, carers, pregnant women and health and social care staff are eligible for a vaccine. Please simply declare this using the online booking system and go ahead and book your appointment. Don’t wait to be called. We will not require any evidence of your eligibility.

This has been moved forward from the original start date in October following the announcement by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) of the new BA.2.86 Covid variant and pre-emptive measures the NHS has been asked to take.

People at greatest risk of serious illness from Covid, including care home residents, over 65s and frontline health and social care workers, are eligible for an autumn vaccine booster.

Here’s everything you need to know:

Covid-19 autumn booster jabs eligibility

  • 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

Available at: GP practices and Community pharmacies.

Annual flu jabs eligibility:

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

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

If you are eligible, it is really important that you go along for your Covid and Flu jabs this Autumn. It is the most effective action we can take to protect ourselves and to stay well for the coming months and prevent passing on infections to others by observing good hand hygiene.

The latest surveillance data suggests that Covid hospital admissions have begun to see a slight increase in some regions across England, and there are also new variants in circulation which have brought the programme forward.

Flu can be a very unpleasant illness for some and every year there are a significant number of flu related deaths. I would urge everyone eligible for the jabs to take up this offer and make sure you are vaccinated against both Covid and Flu to protect yourself, your family and the community”

Cllr Damian Talbot, Executive Member for Public Health, Prevention and Wellbeing, said:

The best way for us all to protect ourselves and our loved ones is to have the vaccine if they are offered to us by the NHS. The news of the new Covid variant has brought the schedule forward so people can now get vaccinated earlier to make sure they are protected for longer over the Autumn and Winter. Flu season is also starting and will become more widespread as the season continues.

Covid and Flu can be serious and can lead to hospitalisation in severe cases. I would urge anyone who is contacted about the jab to take it up.

Find out more here: and


This site uses cookies. Find out more about this site’s cookies.