The flu and COVID-19 booster vaccinations take up to 2 weeks to provide maximum protection, so getting vaccinated soon will help reduce the risk of severe illness in time for the upcoming holidays this winter season.
This will help your celebrations stay on plan, whether that’s lighting lamps for Diwali in November, eating delicious latkes for Hanukkah, or exchanging gifts with friends and family for Christmas in December. Taking up the vaccines means you have taken steps to minimise the chances of spreading these infections or even experiencing serious complications from them.
Everyone aged 65 and over, pregnant women, and individuals with certain long-term health conditions like diabetes or cardiovascular disease, are eligible for free flu and COVID-19 vaccines. These vaccines offer the best defence against becoming severely unwell, hospitalisation and death from COVID-19 and flu.
Children are also eligible for a free flu vaccine and are advised to take up the vaccine ahead of the festivities if receiving the vaccine from their GP. Each winter, thousands of children need to go to hospital for treatment (10,000 children were hospitalised with flu last season), including intensive care, with children under the age of 5 years having one of the highest rates of hospital admissions due to flu compared to other age groups.
By getting vaccinated, this not only protects yourself, but also those around you during the festivities, including babies, grandparents, and people with weak immune systems.