Winter Flu Jab Services
Help protect you and your family in the fight against flu with our private or NHS flu jab service
Flu vaccinations at Boots are available between September and March. The 2016/17 flu vaccination season has now ended and we're currently reviewing our services for 2017/18.
Information on this page, such as eligibility criteria, may change for the flu vaccinations we'll offer in 2017/18. Full details of the Winter Flu Jab Services for the next flu season will appear here around mid-August where you'll be able to book your appointment at a convenient time and date that suits you.
Why get a flu jab?
If you want help to stay healthy and prevent the spread of infection among family, friends and work colleagues, taking advantage of the winter flu jab at Boots is a good first step. Flu is contagious and can be unpleasant. It can be passed through coughing, sneezing or by touching infected surfaces or people.
The NHS and private services at Boots
We offer a private winter flu jab service* in most of our pharmacies across the UK. We offer the free NHS flu jab* in most pharmacies in England and Wales. People living in Scotland and Northern Ireland can, if eligible, get the free NHS flu jab through their GP. Flu can be serious for those more at risk of developing complications and these people are entitled to a free NHS jab. This includes those aged 65 and over, pregnant women and those with certain medical conditions.
*In selected stores only. Subject to specially-trained pharmacist availability and stock availability. Charges apply for the private service.
You must be 16 years or older to get the private flu jab at Boots and 18 or over to get your free NHS jab at Boots. Our specially-trained pharmacist will see if either service is suitable for you following a quick consultation and the completion of a questionnaire. If you fall into one of the clinical risk groups who are advised to have the flu jab, Boots may be able to provide a free NHS jab if you are registered with a GP in England or Wales and you are one of the following:
- Aged 65 and over (or will turn 65 by 31 March 2017)
Have a certain medical condition such as:
- Lung disease, including asthma if you're on a preventer inhaler
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Lowered immunity due to disease (eg HIV) or treatment (eg steroid medication or cancer treatment) or you have had your spleen removed
- Neurological disease
Care for someone whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill. Carer status may include:
- People who are in receipt of a carer's allowance
- Those who are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person
How it works
Book an appointment as an individual or a group
Get vaccinated after a pharmacist consultation
We'll tell your GP if you've accessed the NHS service
What protection will the flu jab provide?
No vaccine is 100 percent effective, but being vaccinated is likely to give you effective protection against the three strains of flu virus contained in the vaccination. This includes swine flu. It takes 14-21 days for the vaccination to become fully effective.
Our pharmacist will inject the vaccine into the muscle of your upper arm. As with all medicines, there may be some side effects which should disappear on their own in a day or two. The most common** side effects include:
- Feeling unwell
- Muscle and joint pain
- Skin reactions such as redness, pain, bruising and hardening of the skin at the injection site
**There is a 1-10% chance that you will be affected by a common side effect.
Rare reactions include:
- Nerve pain and inflammation
- Thromboctyopaenia (a blood disorder)
- Vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels)
- Rare nerve disorders
- Anaphylaxis (we have procedures in place to deal with this)
You should get medical advice straight away if you experience any of these reactions. Speak to our pharmacist if you have any concerns about the vaccination or possible side effects.
You may not be able to have a flu jab if:
- You feel unwell, have a high temperature or an infection
- You have had an allergic reaction to a previous injection
- You have certain other allergies
The vaccine is cultured in fertilised hen's eggs or animal cell cultures during production. Some vegetarians may be opposed to this. If you have concerns about this for religious reasons please seek the appropriate religious advice for guidance.
Benefits of the service
- Convenient: Available at over 1900 pharmacies*, some open seven days a week
- Flexible: Book with us at a time and location to suit you
- Advice: Get any questions answered by our pharmacist
*The NHS service is only in stores in England and Wales.