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BBC Breakfast discusses potential effect flu jab delays

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Flu season is almost here, and amidst concerns about a surge in cases this year, you might be considering booking a flu vaccine. Some people who are at higher risk of flu can get a jab from the NHS for free, but if you aren’t on that list, where can you get the cheapest flu vaccine in the UK?

The UK Government has pledged to vaccinate 35 million people against the flu this year – including school children up to Year 11 for the first time.

After 18 months of the coronavirus pandemic, people are doing everything they can to avoid a surge in flu cases this year.

The flu can be a very serious illness, killing 11,000 people each year on average.

In response to reported shortages of the flu vaccine at GP surgeries across the UK, blood pressure med atacand a spokesperson from Lloyds Pharmacy said: “We currently have a good supply of vaccines due and will be ready to start administering in the next couple of weeks for people who have already booked an appointment.

“We have seen significant demand for flu vaccines again this year with almost 200,000 bookings already this season, including those eligible for the free NHS flu vaccine.”

The winter flu season runs from September to February, but it is recommended that you get the jab as early as possible because it takes around two weeks to become effective.

So, if you’re not eligible for a flu jab on the NHS, you might be considering sorting one out for yourself.

Express.co.uk has compared the prices of jabs on offer from high street pharmacies.

Who gets the flu jab for free?

You will be eligible to get a flu vaccine from the NHS if you are in any of the following categories:

  • Children aged two to three on August 31, 2021
  • All school-age children up to Year 11s
  • Anyone ‘high risk’ aged between six months and 50
  • Pregnant women
  • Over-50s (including if you are 50 by March 31, 2021)
  • Unpaid carers
  • Close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
  • Frontline health and adult social care staff

For an NHS jab, you don’t have to pay and can get it at a pharmacy, your GP, your midwifery appointment if you are pregnant or at a hospital appointment.

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Where can I get the cheapest flu vaccine?

For anyone who isn’t eligible for the NHS vaccine, but still wants to be protected against a nasty case of the flu, UK pharmacies are offering the jab to anyone who would like it, as long as it is medically suitable for them.

Asda is offering the flu jab at their pharmacies in stores for just £8. A total of 255 Asda stores across the UK have a pharmacy service.

Asda has a full online guide to booking your jab at your local Asda pharmacy, you can view it here. Appointments can be booked from late September.

Tesco is the next cheapest flu vaccine, with theirs costing just £9 – only a pound more than Asda’s.

You can book a flu vaccination appointment with Tesco online here and use their store locator to find your nearest Tesco pharmacy offering the vaccination service.

Superdrug is offering the flu vaccine for £13.99, a pound more expensive than it was last year.

They are opening appointments from September 13, and you can book them in-store or on the Superdrug app.

Lloyds Pharmacy has priced their vaccine at £14.99. You can book your flu jab with Lloyds online here. They are opening appointments from September 20.

Boots is also offering the flu jab for £14.99. You can book online here and find your nearest Boots offering the service.

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