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Tesco pharmacies to offer free NHS winter flu jabs

Nick Cheek
Written By:
Nick Cheek

From today, the over 65s and other eligible groups can receive a free NHS flu jab at a leading UK retailer.

Vaccinations will now be available at 342 Tesco pharmacies, which have longer opening hours than many GP surgeries and high-street pharmacies.

Those who wish to receive the jab can do so at their convenience, including evenings and weekends, or even combine it with their weekly shop.

The Tesco Pharmacy is also offering potential customers an online booking system where a slot time can be chosen. The flu jab will be administered  by a Tesco pharmacist in a private consultation room.

Last year, only 35% of pregnant women and 49% of those in a clinical risk group were vaccinated. It is hoped that by offering the greatest number of slots will encourage more in these categories to receive a free flu jab.

For those who are not eligible for a free jab, you can still receive a jab for a fee of £13.

Flu a deadly condition

Flu can be a lethal condition for those who have pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. According to research that was carried out over a seven-year period, the flu jab was associated with a 50% reduction in mortality during the flu season for people living with type 2 diabetes.

Having the flu vaccine also cuts the risk of an heart attack by 27% and dying by a 25% for those who heart and circulatory diseases.

Data has showed that in the winter of 2019/20, there were around 6,600 excess deaths from heart and circulatory diseases in the UK, and it was found that flu was likely to be a contributing factor.

Tesco also launched its “Let’s Talk” service last year, where its pharmacists and pharmacy team members were trained by Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK. It’s a service that provides better information and support to anyone at risk of developing or living with heart and circulatory disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes.

Adrian Price, Tesco’s superintendent pharmacist said: “We want to make getting your jab as easy as doing the weekly shop. More than ever, it will be important to keep your family safe and well from flu.

“You will reduce the risk of catching flu and passing it on to older or more vulnerable family members.”