Boots flu jab bookings now open for NHS and private patients as it prepares for 'unprecedented demand' this winter
Boots has opened bookings for flu jabs - saying it is responding to the potential for a 'serious flu epidemic' this winter.
The health and beauty retailer has already seen demand soar with a 100,000 strong waiting list, prompting it to open reservations for slots earlier in the year than it normally would.
The retailer, which says it's ready to administer millions of flu vaccinations, is urging patients to book now amid concerns that immunity to flu among the population will be considerably lower this year as a result of lockdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Appointments are available from September and Boots has slots for both free flu jabs, which are open to NHS patients who are entitled to a vaccine, and availability for those who want to make an appointment for a jab and pay.
Staff say they are now planning for the chain's biggest ever flu vaccination season - aiming to administer three times the number of injections between September 2021 and March 2022, compared to the 2020-21 season.
To help make this happen special hubs are going to be created at 100 of its pharmacies, rather than solely relying on shop consultation rooms alone.
These will be an expansion of the Boots Covid-19 vaccination hubs and located in city centre and town stores. Boots will also continue to support the NHS in delivering COVID-19 booster jabs over the winter.
Marc Donovan, Chief Pharmacist at Boots, said: “Most adults will have had both COVID-19 vaccinations by September. My advice to people is to make sure they are protected from flu as well by booking a vaccination as early as possible.
"Flu can be a nasty virus that makes you feel extremely unwell, and it can pose a serious risk to older people and others in vulnerable categories. Increased take up of flu vaccinations will not only protect you but also protect the NHS from being overwhelmed by serious flu cases.”
The free NHS flu jab is available in pharmacies to adults aged 50 and over, and other adults aged 18 and over with certain medical conditions or who fall into other eligible NHS groups such as carers.
For those booking a private appointment the cost of a winter flu jab will be £14.99.
Boots will also be offering a free vaccination to all its 52,000 colleagues for the second year running and will once again be offering the Corporate Flu Vaccination Service for organisations that wish to pay for and then offer their own employees a free flu jab.
For more information and to book a flu jab from September, visit boots.com/flu2021.