Seasonal vaccinations and winter health

There are some things you can do to help yourself stay well in winter. This includes getting your flu and COVID-19 vaccinations.

Flu and COVID-19 vaccinations

It's important to get your seasonal flu and COVID-19 vaccinations if you're at higher risk of getting seriously ill from these illnesses.

Who should have the flu and COVID-19 vaccines

You may be able get the NHS flu and COVID-19 vaccines if you:

  • are aged 65 or over (including those who will be 65 by 31 March 2024)
  • have certain health conditions or a learning disability
  • are pregnant
  • live with someone who has a weakened immune system
  • are a carer
  • are a frontline health or social care worker
  • live in a care home

Most children can get the children's flu vaccine. This includes children who were aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2023, school-aged children (Reception to Year 11) and children with certain health conditions.

How to get the flu vaccine

If you're eligible for an NHS flu vaccine, you can:

You do not have to wait for an invitation before booking an appointment.

Find out more about the flu vaccine and how to get it

For more on the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Lancashire and South Cumbria see our web page here: LSC Integrated Care Board :: COVID-19 vaccination programme (

For more information about the national winter vaccinations programme go to Seasonal vaccinations and winter health - NHS (

Who's most at risk from cold weather?

Some people are more vulnerable to the effects of cold weather. This includes:

  • people aged 65 and older
  • babies and children under the age of 5
  • people on a low income (so cannot afford heating)
  • people who have a long-term health condition
  • people with a disability
  • pregnant women
  • people who have a mental health condition

Other advice for staying well this winter

Keeping warm over the winter months can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.

  • Heat your home to a temperature that's comfortable for you. If you can, this should be at least 18°C in the rooms that you regularly use, such as your living room and bedroom. This is particularly important if you have a health condition. It's best to keep your bedroom windows closed at night.
  • Check your heating and cooking appliances are safe. Contact a Gas Safe registered engineer to make sure they're working properly. You can find an engineer from the Gas Safe Register website.
  • Make sure your home is fire safe. For fire safety advice specific to you and your home, visit the online home fire safety check website to complete a safety check for your home.
  • Make sure you're getting all the help that you're entitled to. There are grants, benefits and advice available to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating or help with bills.

We have a separate page about cost of living support which includes help with energy costs here: LSC Integrated Care Board :: Cost of living support (

Remember that other people, such as older neighbours, friends and family members, may need some extra help over the winter. There's a lot you can do to help people who need support.

  • Icy pavements and roads can be very slippery, and cold weather can stop people from going out.
  • Keep in touch with your friends, neighbours and family and ask if they need any practical help, or if they're feeling unwell.
  • Make sure they're stocked up with enough food supplies for a few days, in case they cannot go out.
  • If they do need to go out in the cold, encourage them to wear shoes with a good grip and a scarf around the mouth to protect them from cold air, and to reduce their risk of chest infections.
  • Make sure they get any prescription medicines before the holiday period starts and if bad weather is forecast.
  • If they need help over the holiday period when the GP surgery or pharmacy is closed or they're not sure what to do, go to or call 111.
  • If you're worried about a relative or elderly neighbour, contact your local council or call the Age UK helpline on 0800 678 1602 (8am to 7pm every day). You can find your local council on GOV.UK.
  • If you're concerned the person may have hypothermia, go to or call 111.

Remember most winter illnesses are self limiting and you can treat themselves at home. You can find out how on our self care page here: LSC Integrated Care Board :: Self care (

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