ELIGIBLE people on the Isle of Wight are being urged to book their flu jabs without delay — and not wait until they are invited for their Covid booster vaccination.

The flu vaccination is available free on the NHS to help protect those most at risk from the virus and their loved ones from flu and its complications.

Those who are in certain at risk categories, such as over 65 and under 65s with a long term condition, are more likely to be at risk of developing complications if they catch flu.

Since the flu vaccination programme began last month, 192,000 doses have been administered across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Dr Nigel Watson, clinical lead for the Covid-19 vaccination programme in the region, said: “Many people will not be eligible to have the booster jab until early next year so it is important that people get their flu jabs now.

“The best time to have the flu vaccine is now before the flu virus starts spreading. Unfortunately, more people are likely to get flu this winter, as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the Covid-19 pandemic

“Getting vaccinated against flu and Covid-19 will provide protection for you and those around you.”

You can have the NHS flu vaccine at your GP surgery, a pharmacy offering the service, your midwifery service if you're pregnant, or via a hospital appointment.

You can find a local pharmacy that offers the NHS flu vaccine at nhs.uk/service-search/pharmacy/pharmacy-nhs-flu-vaccine-service

Patients are reminded that the vaccination given to adults is made from dead flu virus and cannot cause the infection. The flu vaccine that will be given to most children is a live vaccine, but the viruses in it have been weakened so they can not cause flu.

There may be some side effects afterwards but these are quite mild, like a slightly raised temperature or aching muscles for a couple of days or an ache in the arm where the injection was given.