Indeed, the coronavirus vaccine and flu season has been described as a double threat by some health professionals. It has been estimated that there may be up to 60,000 deaths from flu this year. The NHS says the Covid booster helps give you longer-term protection against getting seriously ill from COVID-19, while the flu vaccine is offered every year on the NHS to help protect people at risk of getting seriously ill from the flu.
“Getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 will provide protection for you and those around you for both these serious illnesses,” the NHS adds.
Booster vaccine doses are for people most at risk, which includes people aged 50 and over, as well as people who live and work in care homes.
It will also be offered to frontline health and social care workers, people aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts them at high risk of getting seriously ill, and those who are a main carer for someone at high risk.
People aged 16 and over who live with someone who is more likely to get infections should also be able to get a booster shot.
The NHS says: “Most people who can get a COVID-19 booster vaccine are also eligible for the annual flu vaccine.”
The best time to have the flu vaccine is in the autumn or early winter before the flu starts spreading.
If you have already had COVID-19, it is safe to have the flu vaccine, and will still be effective at helping to prevent flu.
It can take 10 to 14 days for the flu vaccine to work.
“You should have the flu vaccine if you’re pregnant to help protect you and your baby,” adds the NHS.
If you are ill with a high temperature, the health body recommends that you wait until you are better before having the flu vaccine.
Most adults can have the flu vaccine, though if you have had a serious allergic reaction to a flu vaccine in the past you should avoid getting it.
You may be at risk of an allergic reaction to the flu vaccine injection if you have an egg allergy, so ask your GP or pharmacist for an egg-free vaccine.
If you get side effects from the flu vaccine, most are mild and only last for a day or so.
They may include a slightly raised temperature, muscle aches, and a sore arm where the needle went in.
There are some possible side effects of the booster to be aware of, as with your previous doses. They include having a painful, heavy feeling and tenderness in the arm where you had your injection, though this tends to be worse around one to two days after the vaccine.
You may also find that you are feeling tired, have a headache, or are experiencing general aches, or mild flu-like symptoms.