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Get vaccinated by December to help protect yourself against flu this festive season, says Boots pharmacist

22 November 2022
News Healthcare
  • Boots Superintendent Pharmacist is encouraging people to get a flu vaccination and their COVID-19 booster if eligible by the end of November to help protect themselves and others ahead of festivities later in December
  • Flu cases in the UK are usually highest in the winter months, so it’s important to get the flu jab as early in the flu season as possible
  • Boots has almost one million appointments available to book instore and online

Boots’ Superintendent Pharmacist is encouraging people to get a flu vaccination by the end of November to help protect themselves, their loved ones and the NHS this festive season.

Flu cases in the UK are usually highest in the winter months, from December to March. This year, the UK has seen a rise in cases earlier than usual,[1] so it is even more important to get protected early to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus due to increased mixing at Christmas parties and family get togethers.

Approximately 33 million people[2]are eligible for the free NHS flu jab, including those over 50 years of age, pregnant women and those with medical conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.

Boots offers the Winter Flu Jab Service, which is suitable for those eligible for the free NHS flu jab as well as privately.* The health and beauty retailer has already administered over one million flu vaccinations this season but there are still almost one million appointments available to book online at**

Claire Nevinson, Superintendent Pharmacist at Boots, explains: “December is a time to get together with friends and family to celebrate the month’s festivities. It’s a good idea to plan ahead to ensure you have your flu jab, and your COVID-19 booster vaccination if you are eligible, if you’ve not had them already, this the best way to protect yourself and reduce the risk of passing the viruses to others.

“The flu vaccination stimulates an immune system response by producing antibodies against the virus. The antibodies stay in your body so that if you’re exposed to the flu virus naturally, your immune system can recognise it, attack it and prevent it from causing flu. It typically takes between 10 and 14 days after having the flu jab for the body to develop enough antibodies to provide protection.

“I recommend you get the jab by the end of November, for protection by mid-December, as festive socialising increases and in time for Christmas Day. If you are unable to get the jab before the end of this month though, please do not worry, just make sure you get vaccinated as early as possible. Having the flu jab doesn't guarantee you won't get it, but if you do it's likely to be milder and not last as long.”

Claire also urged those eligible to get their COVID-19 booster in addition to the flu jab. She said:A flu vaccination does not offer protection from COVID-19 and vice versa. If you are eligible for both, the flu jab and COVID-19 booster can be administered together during the same appointment in Boots stores where we offer both vaccinations.”

With around 85% of the population estimated to be within 10 minutes of a Boots store, it is an accessible and convenient option for patients who want a flu jab.



*Boots offers the free NHS (or other locally-funded) flu jab in most of our stores in England and Wales and some stores in Scotland and Northern Ireland, for customers who meet the NHS criteria. For a flu vaccination in community pharmacy  Boots’ private service is available in most stores across the UK for people aged 16 years+ and in selected  stores for children aged 11 to 15 years, priced at £16.99 or £21.99 in Jersey. Injectable vaccine only. Eligibility criteria apply for all services. Subject to availability.  

**Boots flu bookings data up to 7th November 2022.




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Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer with over 52,000 team members and around 1,900 stores, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores.*

Boots serves its customers and patients for life as the leading provider of healthcare on the high street and the UK’s number one beauty destination. It offers an unrivalled depth and breadth of products, which incorporates its extensive own brand range and innovative portfolio of brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle Beauty and Sleek MakeUP.

2024 marks Boots’ 175th anniversary year. Founder John Boot opened a herbalist store in Nottingham in 1849 to offer an affordable alternative to traditional medicines. His son Jesse expanded the business to become a modern retailer and the biggest chemist in Britain. Throughout its history, Boots has listened, learned and innovated, and it continues to challenge itself to improve its products and services every day.

Boots is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, which is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail.  More company information is available on

*Figures accurate as of 31 May 2024