Call to eligible residents to get flu and COVID jabs before deadline

Published: Friday, 26th January 2024

Medway Council and Kent County Council (KCC) public health leaders are echoing calls from the NHS and urging residents eligible for flu and COVID-19 vaccinations to get protected.

Anyone who is over 65, pregnant or has certain long-term conditions qualifies for the free vaccinations.  

COVID-19 vaccinations are available at walk-in clinics and pharmacies until the end of January, while vaccinations for flu are available until the end of March.

If you’re eligible for a NHS flu vaccine, you can:

Some people may be able to get vaccinated through their maternity service, care home or their employer if you are a frontline health or social care worker.

You can find out if you are eligible, and where you can still get your vaccines, at: website is run by NHS Kent and Medway and includes a map of walk-in services.

Children aged two and three can have the flu nasal spray at their GP practice.  

Book your appointment as soon as possible

Medway Council’s Director of Public Health, James Williams, said: “Getting vaccinated is the best way to reduce your risk of becoming unwell. If you are eligible for a free COVID-19 or flu vaccination, I would encourage you to book your appointment as soon as possible.”

Get yourself protected

Kent County Council’s Deputy Director of Public Health, Dr Ellen Schwartz, said: “Vaccines are extremely safe and must go through the same checks as any medicines to make sure they meet strict safety standards and offer high levels of protection.

“Everyone who is eligible for free vaccinations, and is most at risk from complications should they get flu or COVID-19, shouldn’t put themselves and their loved ones unnecessarily at risk – please get yourself protected.

“If you’re pregnant, these vaccines can reduce the risk of either virus harming you and your unborn baby. Parents can also be assured that the flu vaccine for little ones is usually given as a quick and painless spray up the nose. As well as reducing the chances of your child getting flu and losing valuable days off school, it also lowers the odds you will need to take days off work to look after them.”

Keep yourself and your loved ones safe

KCC Cabinet Member for Public Health and Adult Social Care, Dan Watkins, added: “We all spend a lot more time mixing indoors in winter which makes it easier for bugs to spread.

“If you’re not sure if you qualify for a flu or COVID vaccination, or don’t know where to get them, please do check out the ‘get vaccinated now’ website and keep yourself and your loved ones safe.”

Get vaccinated now 

Kate Langford, Chief Medical Officer at NHS Kent and Medway, said: “Many people who are more likely to get very ill from COVID-19 or flu are putting their health at risk by not taking up a free NHS vaccination.

“This includes pregnant women and those with asthma, COPD, chronic diseases and other medical conditions, which makes them more vulnerable to serious illness from flu and COVID-19.

“Thousands of people across the county have been vaccinated this year but there are still more who are eligible. It’s important to get vaccinated now while you still can.”

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