Boots is rolling out its winter flu jab service across the UK it announced earlier today. New safety measures and processes have been adopted in store to ensure the experience for customers and colleagues is as safe as possible when someone comes in for their flu jab or another pharmacy service. First and foremost, customers will be asked to read key information online prior to their appointment, and, where possible, attend their appointment on their own to avoid overcrowding.
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The health chain has also advised that customers bring their own pen to complete any essential paperwork and they will be asked not to speak to the pharmacist during the actual vaccination to minimise the risk of droplet spreading.
If the consultation room is small, it’s possible the pharmacist will ask to keep the door open during the appointment.
As Marc Donovan, Chief Pharmacist at Boots explained, the COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the importance of maintaining a healthy immune system.
“Although the flu vaccination does not prevent Coronavirus in any way, both of these viruses have an impact on the respiratory system so if you can prevent the flu, it can be a huge benefit to your overall health including your immunity system,” he said in a statement earlier today.
Donovan continued: “We also know that winter is a particularly busy time for GPs and hospitals.
“Vaccinating to protect against influenza could help reduce the risk of the NHS becoming overwhelmed with both cases of flu and COVID-19.
“We are glad to be opening a list for customers to register their interest so they can plan ahead and look to protect themselves ahead of the winter flu season”.
Customers can register their interest now by visiting: www.boots.com/flu-2020.
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The announcement comes a day after reports from Downing St suggest plans are being considered to issue the flu jab to all over-50s in Britain on the NHS.
The plan, which is reportedly being considered by ministers, is aimed at minimising the impact of a second wave of COVID-19.
Government advisers have already recommended that Number 10 contemplate vaccinating the ‘entire population’ against the flu in an effort to free up hospital beds, the Mail Online reported.
Insiders now say Downing St is planning to buy 10 million extra doses for over-50s — but have warned delivering the jabs could be disrupted by logistical problems.
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Leading scientists fear the coronavirus could wreak havoc on the health service if it returns this winter, striking alongside the flu when hospitals are already swamped.
The free flu jab is usually reserved for at-risk groups such as those aged 65 years old or over.
You are also eligible if you:
- Are pregnant
- Have certain medical conditions
- Are living in a long-stay residential care home or another long-stay care facility
- Receive a carer’s allowance, or you’re the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you all ill
The flu jab — designed to fight off four different strains of influenza expected to circulate — offers no protection against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.
How do vaccines work?
As the NHS explains, vaccines teach your immune system how to create antibodies that protect you from diseases.
It’s much safer for your immune system to learn this through vaccination than by catching the diseases and treating them.
Once your immune system knows how to fight a disease, it can often protect you for many years.
Having a vaccine also benefits your whole community through “herd immunity”, notes the NHS.
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