- Boots has today opened bookings for its Winter Flu Jab Service to the general public
- Over 110,000 Boots customers were already registered to get an early notification of bookings opening
- Boots Chief Pharmacist suggests strong demand could be due to increase in people becoming more familiar with vaccines since the pandemic as well as high levels of flu predicted this winter, and encourages early booking
Boots has opened bookings for its Winter Flu Jab Service to record demand as its Chief Pharmacist encourages patients to book early for appointments from September.
Since May, over 110,000 Boots customers registered to be the first to know when appointments were available for the vaccination service – a 27% increase compared to last year’s pre-booking registrations for the same period last year. These patients were invited to book their flu jab before Boots opened bookings to the general public today.
Following guidance from the government that this year could see higher levels of influenza due to increased social activity, international travel and reduced use of face masks following the pandemic, Boots is encouraging patients, especially those who are vulnerable, to book an appointment and get vaccinated against flu as early as possible. Boots is offering appointments for flu jabs from September.
Last year, Boots carried out its largest flu vaccination programme on record and administered over two million vaccines from September 2021. Amid the concerns of increased influenza this year, Boots will be aiming to carry out the same number of flu vaccinations this winter.
Marc Donovan, Chief Pharmacist at Boots UK, said: “We are seeing a huge demand for our Winter Flu Jab Service, which could be due to several factors, including greater risk of influenza this year because of educed social distancing measures, reduced rules on isolation as well as changes in face mask use. It could also be because people are more open and familiar with vaccines in general, with most UK adults having received their COVID-19 vaccinations in the last year.
“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. The best time to get the flu jab is in the autumn before flu starts spreading. However, the earlier you are vaccinated against flu, the less likely you are to catch it. My advice to people is to book your flu vaccination as early as possible, and make sure you and your loved ones are protected from flu ahead of the winter season when influenza is at its peak.”
Boots will offer free flu jabs on behalf of the NHS and privately for those who are not eligible for a free NHS flu jab. The free NHS flu jab is available in England and Northern Ireland to adults aged 65 and over, or those who will be turning 65 on or before 31 March 2023, and in Scotland, Wales and Isle of Man to adults aged 50 and over, or those who will be 50 by 31 March 2023. It is also available to other adults aged 18 and over with certain medical conditions or who fall into other eligible NHS groups such as carers.Privately, the Boots Winter Flu Jab Service costs £16.99.
Boots will offer a free vaccination to all its 53,000 team members for the third year running. It also runs a Corporate Flu Vaccination Service for organisations that wish to pay for and then offer their employees a free flu vaccination.
With around 85% of the population estimated to be within 10 minutes of a Boots store, it is an accessible and convenient options for patients. For more information and to book a flu jab from September, visit boots.com/flu.
 National influenza programme letter, www.gov.uk
If you’re eligible for the free NHS flu jab, it will be available in most Boots pharmacies in England and Wales for customers aged 18+. Eligibility for a free NHS/States funded/HSC flu jab may be different in the Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Those living in areas where the free NHS flu jab is not available at Boots can, if eligible, get this through their GP and/or vaccination hubs in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Eligibility criteria apply. Subject to availability.
If you're not eligible for a free NHS flu jab, you may want to consider booking the Boots private Winter Flu Jab Service. Subject to stock and pharmacist availability. Eligibility criteria apply. Service costs £16.99 in England, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Service costs £21.99 in Jersey.