Winter Flu Jab Services
Help protect you and your family in the fight against flu with our private or NHS flu jab service
Why get a flu jab?
If you want help to stay healthy and prevent the spread of flu among family, friends and work colleagues, taking advantage of the winter flu jab at Boots is a good first step. Flu is contagious and it can be passed through coughing, sneezing or by touching infected surfaces or people. Most flu outbreaks usually happen in late autumn or winter, and, for most people, it's an unpleasant but not a life-threatening condition.
The NHS flu vaccination at Boots
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. These include the over 65s, pregnant women and those with certain medical conditions.
Private flu vaccination at Boots
If you’re not eligible for the free NHS flu jab, a private Winter Flu Jab Service is available in most Boots pharmacies* across the UK. At Boots we want the best for our customers, which is why this year we’re offering a vaccination service that provides improved protection against flu**. We’re now offering protection against four strains of flu – an additional strain compared to last year.
You must be 16 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 on the NHS, Boots may be able to provide a free NHS jab if you are registered with a GP in England or Wales and you:
- Are aged 65 or over (or will turn 65 by 31 March 2018)
- Are pregnant
- Are a resident of a nursing or residential home
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 strains of flu virus contained in the vaccination. This includes swine flu. Following the vaccination, it takes 14-21 days for protection to start.
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
- Gastrointestinal symptoms
- Muscle and joint pain
- Skin reactions such as redness, pain, bruising and hardening of the skin at the injection site
Rare reactions include:
- Nerve pain and inflammation
- Swollen glands
- General skin reactions
- Rare nerve disorders
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. On rare occasions, anaphylaxis may occur. We have procedures in place to deal with this.
You may not be able to have a flu jab if:
- You have had an allergic or anaphylactic reaction to any previous injection
- You have certain other allergies
Your appointment will need to be rearranged if, on the day, you feel unwell, have a high temperature or an infection.
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 2,000 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 private Winter Flu Jab Service costs £12.99. The NHS service is free if you're eligible to receive it.
Help protect yourself from pneumonia
If you’re 50 or over, you may also want to consider our Pneumonia Vaccination Service. Pneumonia is an infection, more common in autumn and winter, that can cause serious illness and even death. Some Boots pharmacies can offer the vaccination at the same time as a flu jab.** Find out more about the Pneumonia Vaccination Service.
* Subject to specially‐trained pharmacist availability and stock availability. Eligibility criteria and charges apply.
** Compared to our previous service, subject to availability. Offers a broader level of protection against influenza and covers all strains recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the upcoming flu season.