Autumn/Winter flu and Covid-19 vaccinations 2023

20 September 2023

With COVID numbers on the rise again and flu season nearly upon us, here’s what you need to know for you and your service users to stay safe and well this winter.

For some, flu and COVID-19 are unpleasant. But for many, including those with certain health conditions, older people and pregnant women, they can be very dangerous and even life-threatening. Every winter, thousands die from flu and people can still get very ill or die from COVID-19. 

By getting vaccinated, frontline health and social care staff can protect themselves and those they care for, and help the NHS to run services during busy colder months.



In England, the NHS has brought forward the winter vaccination programme in response to expert advice on the emergence of the new BA.2.86 COVID-19 variant. 

Who can get the vaccines? 

Those who can get the flu and COVID-19 vaccines for free through the NHS include: 

  • everyone aged 65 and over 
  • pregnant women 
  • care home residents 
  • those aged 6 months old or above with certain health conditions 
  • frontline health and care staff 
  • unpaid carers 
  • household contacts of those at increased risk.  

The flu vaccine is also offered to most children including all aged 2 and 3 years old and school aged children from reception to year 11, as well as those with underlying health conditions.  


How do adult frontline health and social care staff get the vaccines? 

Eligible frontline health and social care professionals can now book a COVID-19 vaccination online, by downloading the NHS App or calling 119 for free, and can speak to their employer for more information about how to get the flu vaccine. 

Visits to offer vaccinations to care home residents started from 11 September and social care professionals working in care homes may be offered the vaccine at the same time as those they care for. 

Many areas will also be offering local walk-in COVID-19 vaccinations. 



The vaccination programme for COVID and flu is already well underway and is being offered to those eligible until December. This includes front line health and care workers.  

Details of how to book can be found on the NHS Inform website.  



In Wales the winter vaccination programme is being offered to the following groups :

Flu vaccination 

  • Children aged two and three years on 31 August 2023  
  • Children in primary school from reception class to year 6 (inclusive)   
  • Children in secondary school from year 7 to year 11 (inclusive)    
  • People aged six months to 64 years in clinical risk groups    
  • People aged 65 years and older (age on 31 March 2024)    
  • Pregnant women   
  • Carers aged 16 and over  
  • People aged 6 months to 65 years who live with someone who has a weakened immune system    
  • People with a learning disability   
  • Frontline health and social care workers   
  • All staff working in care homes with regular client contact

COVID-19 vaccination 

  • People aged six months to 64 years in clinical risk groups    
  • People with a learning disability   
  • People aged 65 years and older    
  • Pregnant women  
  • People who live in a care home for older adults   
  • People aged 12-64 who live with someone who has a weakened immune system   
  • Carers aged 16 and over  
  • Frontline health workers and social care workers 
  • Other staff working in care homes for older adults 
  • Details on how to book are available on the Public Health Wales website  


Northern Ireland  

The COVID-19 booster and flu vaccine are available for eligible people in Northern Ireland. 

Those eligible for vaccination against COVID-19 or flu this autumn and winter, should make themselves aware of their own GP surgery’s or community pharmacist’s vaccination arrangements and work with them to get vaccinated. Further details are available on NI Direct.


Keyworker letters

We’ve updated our proof of keyworker status letters for eligible members for 2023, available below.