The Boots flu jab service, which a company spokesperson said usually doesn’t open for bookings until the third week of August, opened for online bookings yesterday (August 6), with appointments available from mid-September.
Research commissioned by the health and beauty giant suggests that “almost a third” of patients intend on getting a flu jab this year because they are “more aware of the need to protect themselves against flu as a result of the recent COVID-19 pandemic”, the multiple said yesterday.
Opening the booking system early will “help more customers plan ahead to get their flu jabs before the winter months and help relieve pressure on the NHS”, Boots added.
Last week (July 30), Lloydspharmacy told C+D it is “likely to see a 50% increase in the uptake of the flu vaccination”, and that it encourages patients to “register their interest in-pharmacy and online early this year”.
Lloydspharmacy has “already received thousands of bookings and is “taking steps” to ensure the jab is delivered in a COVID-19 safe environment, a spokesperson said.
“We usually don’t expect to see any bookings for the flu vaccination until at least late August,” they added.
Getting flu jab “more important than ever”
Anne Higgins, director of pharmacy at Boots UK, said it is “more important than ever for people to consider getting their flu vaccination” in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Although the flu vaccination does not prevent COVID-19, both of these viruses have an impact on the respiratory system so if you can prevent flu, it can be a huge benefit to your overall health including your immune system,” she added.
Customers will be expected to adhere to social distancing measures, sanitise their hands and wear a face covering throughout their appointment, Boots said.