Boots opens flu jab bookings due to ‘strongest ever’ demand
Boots UK started taking bookings for its winter flu jab service yesterday, citing “record demand” for vaccinations this year.
The multiple said that since May over 110,000 people had signed up for updates on the opening of the service, a 27 per cent increase on last year. These patients were invited to book a vaccination appointment before the booking facility was opened to the general public yesterday.
Boots said that in this year’s flu programme – which starts at the beginning of September – it hopes to match its record figure of two million vaccines from 2021.
Free NHS flu jabs are being offered to people aged 65 and above in England and Northern Ireland, and to people aged 50 and over in Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man. Other eligible groups include pregnant women and carers.
The multiple is also offering private flu jabs priced at £16.99 to individuals and companies, and will vaccinate all 53,000 of its staff free of charge.
Boots UK chief pharmacist Marc Donovan 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 reduced 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.
“My advice to people is to book your flu vaccination as early as possible, and make sure you and your oved ones are protected from flu ahead of the winter season when influenza is at its peak.”