Get ready for the flu and COVID-19 vaccination season

September 1, 2023

Social care and frontline health workers need to be ready for autumn boosters and jabs. Lisa Barnes-Metcalf, our residential specialist, explains:

As we enjoy the longer summer days and better weather, we need to start thinking about how to continue to protect service users and staff.

The need for preparing begins again, this time for the flu and COVID-19 vaccination season which will be rolled out to those eligible over the coming months.

What we know so far

This year vaccinations will start on the 11th September 2023.

Those most at risk, including care home residents will receive vaccinations first.

Where there are opportunities to co-administer the flu and COVID-19 vaccinations together, these will be taken, but this will not unduly delay the administration of one jab or the other.

During 2023, there has been a transition towards a proportionate and focused booster programme for COVID-19. The autumn campaign has been brought forward in response to a new COVID-19 variant.

Who is eligible?

Those eligible for the flu vaccine are:

  • People aged 65 years and over
  • People aged 6 months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups
  • Pregnant women
  • All children aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2023
  • Primary school aged children (from Reception to Year 6)
  • Those in long-stay residential care homes
  • Carers in receipt of carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person
  • Close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
  • Frontline workers in a social care setting without an employer-led occupational health scheme, including those working for a registered residential care or nursing home, registered domiciliary care providers, voluntary managed hospice providers and those that are employed by those who receive direct payments (personal budgets) or Personal Health budgets, such as Personal Assistants

JCVI advice for 2023 is that the following groups will be given the COVID-19 booster vaccination this autumn:

  • Residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults
  • Frontline health and social care workers
  • All adults aged 65 years and over
  • Persons aged 6 months to 64 years in a clinical risk group, as set out in the Immunisation Green Book
  • Persons aged 12 to 64 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression
  • Persons aged 16 to 64 years who are carers, as set out in the Green Book

In the health and social care sector, this affects staff and service users who might fall into one of the criteria mentioned above.

Those eligible will be contacted by the NHS.

How to prepare for vaccinations?

Whilst waiting to be contacted for your vaccinations, there are a number of resources readily available to support (JCVI statement on the COVID-19 autumn 2023 vaccination programme), so it’s important that staff and service users are familiar with these.

Start to have conversations early with staff and service users so they are provided with as much information now about the booster vaccination.

Ensure that rotas are continually planned to allow staff time to go and get their vaccination.

There are also a number of resources available within the QCS management system to support including:

Service User Vaccination and Immunistaion Policy and Procedure

COVID-19 Vaccination Supervision Log

COVID-19 Vaccination Tracker

Also look out for the QCS Winter Planning Toolkit Social Care Edition which is coming soon.


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June 30, 2022
Autumn COVID-19 boosters coming soon
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