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People in north east London urged to protect themselves against winter viruses

Doctors in north east London are urging those most at risk from Covid-19 and flu to ensure they are fully protected against the viruses as the NHS starts its vaccination campaign.

The two vaccines can be safely given during the same appointment and the protection they provide is the best defence against serious illness or hospitalisation this winter. 

Millions of people in England are now eligible for both jabs, including anyone aged over 65, pregnant women, care home residents, frontline health and care staff and unpaid carers. Those deemed clinically at risk, and their household contacts, will also be able to receive them.

People living and working in care homes have already started to receive their vaccinations and people in other eligible groups can book their Covid-19 booster jab from Monday 18 September, with appointments available from Tuesday 19 September.

This year’s vaccination campaign has been brought forward due to the emergence of the new BA.2.86 variant, (also known as Pirola) to help ensure those at higher risk are better protected.

The flu vaccine is also being offered to most children from this month (September) and this is usually given as a quick and painless spray up the nose.

Further details on all winter vaccinations, and how to book, are available on the NHS North East London website at

Dr Muhammad Naqvi, a Newham GP and Clinical Lead for immunisations for NHS North East London, said:

“For people most at risk from Covid-19 and flu, getting vaccinated is the best way of protecting yourself and avoiding serious illness.

“These vaccines have kept tens of thousands of people out of hospital and helped to save countless lives over the last few years. Being vaccinated will also help keep your family and friends safe by helping to stop diseases spreading in your local community.”

Last autumn, data showed that those who received a Covid-19 booster were around 53% less likely to be admitted to hospital with the virus within two to four weeks following vaccination compared to those who did not receive a booster jab.

Diane Jones, Chief Nursing Officer for NHS North East London, said:

“Vaccinations are our best defence against Covid-19 and flu, and it’s vital all those eligible are protected as the new covid variant has the potential to increase the risk of infection.

“By coming forward for both jabs as soon as you are eligible you will be giving yourself and those around you maximum protection from these nasty viruses this winter”.