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Health chiefs issue ‘don’t delay’ plea for COVID-19 boosters and flu jabs

Older man sat with two small children. They are looking at an ipad. The man has two different coloured glows around him. The headline says 'boost your immunity this winter'

Eligible people in Calderdale are being urged to protect themselves against serious illness this winter by getting both their COVID-19 booster and flu jab as soon as they are invited.

Those most at risk from COVID-19 are being invited for a booster jab six months after they had their second dose. This is to ensure people maintain a high level of protection against the virus, reducing their chance of becoming seriously ill or needing to be admitted to hospital. People will receive an invitation when their booster is due, either from their GP or the NHS National Booking Service.

Experts are also stressing the importance of getting your flu jab, with more people having been added to the eligible groups this year. Due to last year’s lockdown restrictions, this will be the first winter that COVID-19 and flu are circulating fully at the same time and research has shown that people who have both viruses at the same time are more than twice as likely to die as someone with COVID-19 alone.

So the message from local health chiefs is simple: don’t delay, get each jab as soon as it’s offered.

Local GP and clinical lead for the COVID-19 vaccination programme Dr Lisa Pickles, said: “COVID-19 is still very much here and with winter fast approaching we also have the added threat of flu. These are both very dangerous viruses: we need people to take this seriously and protect themselves and the NHS by getting both their booster and their flu vaccination.

“It’s safe to have both jabs at the same time but it may not always be possible to get them together so please get each jab as soon as you are invited. The most important thing is that you are protected against these viruses as soon as possible.”

Neil Smurthwaite, Senior Responsible Officer for the Vaccination Programme in Calderdale, said: “Uptake from people who have been invited for their booster so far has generally been good but we want to remind people how important it is to get protected and encourage them to do this as quickly as possible. Please book your appointment as soon as you get your invitation and help us to keep you and others safe this winter.”