Still time to grab a jab before this winter's vaccine offers end

A mother and daughter hugging

Kent residents eligible for a free NHS flu vaccine or Covid autumn booster this winter still have time to get protected before the offers close.

Vaccinations are safe, effective and help protect people at risk of getting seriously ill from the viruses – including the over-50s and those with certain health conditions or pregnant.

Doctors in Kent and Medway are also reminding parents that toddlers aged two and three qualify for a flu nasal spray which they can have at their GP practice.

Parents of primary school children offered a flu vaccine last term from Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT), but unable to take part, can also book a clinic on the KCHFT website until Monday, 20 February.

The flu vaccine offer closes on Friday, 31 March, and the offer of Covid-19 boosters closes on Sunday, 12 February – this includes booster doses for patients of all ages who are classed as at-risk, or immunosuppressed, and their household contacts.

The primary doses, first or second, continue as part of the ongoing 'evergreen' offer and are available for children aged five and up. People who are severely immunosuppressed can have a third dose.

To find out more, including how to book, visit flu vaccinations and Covid-19 vaccines.

Kate Langford, Chief Medical Officer at NHS Kent and Medway, said: “It’s not too late to protect yourself against flu and Covid.

“They can both be unpleasant for most people and can be dangerous and even life-threatening for some, particularly those with certain health conditions.

“For most eligible patients, flu appointments can be booked at participating local pharmacies or your GP practice.

“Covid boosters and primary doses can all be booked online.

“If your child is of primary school age but was either unwell or unavailable to get the nasal spray when offered at school, then please get in touch with KCHFT online and make a booking.”

Kent County Council’s Deputy Director of Public Health, Dr Ellen Schwartz, said: “Flu and Covid are highly infectious diseases and can lead to complications – particularly for people with long term health conditions or pregnant, the elderly and ethnic minority communities.

“With vaccines currently the best defence against what can be serious illnesses, we are joining the call to urge all eligible residents who haven’t yet done so to get themselves protected.

"Help is also at hand for parents wanting to get their child protected against flu – just follow the guidance from the NHS.”

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) recently published analysis suggesting the nasal spray vaccine that offers protection to children against flu may also help reduce the rate of group A strep infections.

For more information about winter health advice, visit