There are plenty of things you can do to help you stay well this winter.
Help protect yourself, your friends and family by having the COVID-19 vaccination.
If you haven’t already had your covid jab you can find details of walk-in clinics and more information on the vaccine on our COVID-19 pages.
Book your COVID-19 vaccination today either online or by ringing 119.
If you’re eligible for a COVID-19 booster jab, look out for your invite to book your booster from your local NHS. Please note, you will only be eligible for your COVID-19 booster vaccine at least 6 months after your second vaccine dose.
Stay protected, the booster jab will help you stay safe from COVID-19.
Get your Flu jab
Flu is an infectious and common viral illness spread by coughs and sneezes.
For most people, flu is an unpleasant illness, but it’s not serious. If you are otherwise healthy, you will usually recover from flu within a week.
However, certain people such as the frail elderly and young children are more likely to develop potentially serious complications of flu such as bronchitis and pneumonia. These people are advised to have a flu jab each year.
The flu vaccine is a safe and effective vaccine. It’s offered every year on the NHS to help protect people at risk of getting seriously ill from flu.
This year getting the flu vaccine is important because:
- 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
- if you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time, research shows you’re more likely to be seriously ill
- getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 will provide protection for you and those around you for both these serious illnesses.
People who are eligible for the flu vaccine this year include:
- Are 50 and over (including those who’ll be 50 by 31 March 2022)
- Have certain conditions
- Are pregnant
- Are in long-stay residential care
- Receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
- Live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
- Frontline health or social care workers.
You can have the NHS flu vaccine at:
- your GP surgery
- a pharmacy offering the service
- your midwifery service if you’re pregnant
- a hospital appointment.
If you do not have your flu vaccine at your GP surgery, you do not have to tell the surgery. This will be done for you.
Find a pharmacy that offers the NHS flu vaccine.
If you take regular medication, it is important to ensure you have enough in case you cannot leave your home. It is important to order enough medication to last you during the Christmas and New Year period. In the event that you do run out of prescribed medication, please contact your local pharmacist or NHS 111 who should be able to assist with an emergency supply.
If you receive regular or repeat prescriptions that don’t change you might be suitable for
Electronic Repeat Dispensing. This means your GP can send your regular or repeat prescriptions electronically to a pharmacy of your choice.
GP surgeries and community pharmacies are under considerable demand at the moment, and repeat prescribing is a significant part of GPs’ and community pharmacy’s daily workload. Electronic Repeat Dispensing has been shown to save GP time spent on repeat prescriptions and to be more convenient for patients.
Find out more about electronic repeat dispensing.
Self-care is about looking after your own health and making the right choices about where to go for help and advice when you need it. Many common illnesses and injuries can be treated at home – talk to your pharmacist about remedies and advice on what to do.
Keep a well-stocked medical cabinet. This could include: pain killers, anti-diarrhoeal medicine, rehydration mixture, indigestion remedies, cold and flu remedies, first aid kit with bandages, plasters, antiseptic wipes and cream, eyewash, medical tape, sterile dressing and thermometer. Find more advice about what to keep in your medicine cabinet on the NHS website.
Winter brings with it a number of minor health problems that you can also deal with at home or with help from your pharmacist from colds and sore throats to painful joints and dry skin.
Cases of respiratory illness such as bronchiolitis in children are higher at the moment. Symptoms can be worrying, but check out our fact sheet to help you assess your child’s symptoms and know when to self-care and when to seek urgent help. Remember, if you’re still not sure, contact 111.nhs.uk or call 111 for clinical advice.
Food gives you energy, which helps to keep you warm. Try to have regular hot meals and drinks throughout the day.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet with the right types of foods is an important part of maintaining good health and can help you feel your best.
Change4Life has loads of healthy eating tips and recipes, and fun ways to exercise. Change4Life is here to help you and your kids eat well and move more.
Find out more about eating well on the NHS website.