More than 440,000 eligible people in the Black Country can now book their life-saving autumn COVID-19 vaccine.

Eligible people can now book their COVID-19 vaccination online via the National Booking System, by downloading the NHS App, or by calling 119 for free.

Eligible groups may also be offered a vaccination by their GP surgeries or other local NHS services.

Those eligible include:

  • all adults aged 65 and over
  • care home residents
  • frontline health and social care staff
  • those at increased risk because they are pregnant or have a certain underlying health condition
  • unpaid carers
  • household contacts of those at risk.

The annual flu vaccine is also being made available to these groups, with more than 700,000 people in the Black Country eligible for a free flu vaccine.

This year’s adult COVID-19 and flu vaccination programme has been brought forward on the advice of scientists following the emergence of a new variant (BA.2.86) and ahead of the winter period.

Sally Roberts, Chief Nursing Officer for the NHS Black Country Integrated Care Board (ICB), said: “It is important for those who are eligible to top up their protection, even if they have had a vaccine or been ill with flu or COVID-19 before, as immunity fades over time and these viruses change each year.

“The NHS winter flu and COVID-19 vaccination programme provides vital protection to those eligible and their families over winter, keeping people from developing serious illnesses, and helping to minimise hospitalisations during busy winter months.

“So, I strongly encourage all eligible people to book their lifesaving winter vaccines as soon as they can.”

COVID-19 vaccination for those aged under 18 years will begin later in the year – the NHS will let eligible families know when this offer opens.

Eligible people can book their flu vaccine by visiting the NHS website here.

Eligible people can book their autumn COVID-19 vaccine via the National Booking System here.

For those who are unable to get online, vaccinations can also be booked by calling 119. Calls to 119 are free from mobiles and landlines and the booking service provides support in 200 different languages.

Those who have difficulties communicating or hearing or are a British Sign Language (BSL) user can use textphone 18001 or the NHS 119 BS interpreter service.

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