Flu Vaccine 2021/22 & COVID-19 Booster Vaccine FAQ


This year, Blackthorn Health Centre and Bursledon Surgery patients in the flu risk groups will be offered a flu vaccine at Blackthorn Health Centre.

In addition, you will also be offered a COVID-19 booster vaccine centrally with the Primary Care Network (which also includes Hedge End Medical Centre and West End Surgery).

The flu vaccines will be administered at Blackthorn Health Centre, whilst the COVID-19 booster vaccines will be administered at the Lowford Surgery site.


Page Last Updated: Wednesday 29th December 2021



How do I know if I am eligible for the Flu vaccine?

The flu vaccine is given to people who:

  • are 50 and over (including those who'll be 50 by 31st March 2022)
  • have certain health conditions
  • are pregnant
  • are in long-stay residential care
  • receive a carer's allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
  • live with someone who's at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
  • frontline health or social care workers


For more information on the eligibility of the flu vaccine, please go to the link below.




When will I be able to book my flu vaccine appointment?

Flu vaccine appointments are now available from early September. These will include smaller daytime clinics as well as the regular larger Saturday clinics on the following dates.

  • Saturday 18th September 2021
  • Saturday 9th October 2021


Depending on supplies, we may then organise additional weekday, evening or Saturday clinics.


We know we are offering the flu vaccine much earlier than usual this year. This is due to the evidence showing that this year's flu season will be much earlier, and affect around 40% more people than normal, so we felt it was important to give good coverage earlier.


If you are not able to make the dates we have available, you can either wait for future clinics, or book elsewhere (including local pharmacies).


In addition, if you are eligible for either or both vaccines, we will also be offering the Pneumonia and Shingles vaccine for our eligible patients at the same time as your flu vaccine. Please note, the eligibility for the Pneumonia and Shingles vaccination is different from the flu vaccine. For more information and to see if you are eligible for these vaccines, please see the appropriate guidance below:

(there needs to be a 7 day gap between your Shingles and COVID-19 vaccines)


Children's flu vaccines will be available during October. This may change as we are allocated these vaccines separately direct from NHS England. As a result we cannot control the delivery date of these vaccines. Once these clinics are available, we will update this page and contact our eligible patients directly.



How do I book my flu vaccine appointment?

We will be texting or writing to all patients who are eligible for the vaccines over the coming weeks. However, if you are are over 65 or under 65 in an at-risk group (as detailed above), you do NOT need to receive this letter before you arrange your appointment. If you are 50-64 and not in an at-risk group, please wait for us to contact you later in the flu season (October / November).

When you receive your text or letter to book your flu vaccine, please use one of your patient online apps, such as the NHS App or Patient Access, to book online. In addition, if you book online and our medical records do not clarify why you are entitled to the flu vaccine, we may contact you to confirm this.

If you don't have access to online appointment booking, you can call the practice any weekday (excluding Bank Holidays) between 10am and 5pm. If you call outside of this time, the reception team may ask you to call back at the appropriate time. The arrangement is to allow flu bookings and questions to be managed separately which will keep the main practice line free for patients who are needing medical help.


If you have an inquiry regarding your flu or COVID-19 vaccine, you can raise this inquiry via our Vaccine Enquiry page.


If you are housebound (i.e. never leave the house due to disability or frailty), we are able to offer the flu vaccine to you at home. If we are already aware you are housebound, this will happen automatically either by us or the District Nurses. If you are newly housebound, or unsure, please call the practice between 10am and 5pm or inform us via our Vaccine Enquiry page.



I have had the flu clinic elsewhere do I need to let the practice know?

If you have the vaccine at a pharmacy we will be notified directly by them.


Alternatively, if you have the flu vaccine at another location (such as at work), then please inform us via our Vaccine Enquiry page. Within the message, please include the date you were vaccinated and where this took place. If possible, please also let us know the manufacturer and batch number. We will then record this onto your medical record.



How do I decline the flu vaccination for this flu season?

Please note, we are required to offer the flu vaccination to all our eligible patients, regardless of whether they have declined the vaccination in a previous year. Therefore, whilst we recommend that all eligible patients have the flu vaccination, if you wish to decline the flu vaccination this year, please inform us via a reply to the text or letter. Alternatively, you can inform us via our Vaccine Enquiry page. The decline will then be coded on your medical record and you will not receive any further communication from us regarding this until the next flu season.



How to book your COVID-19 booster vaccine appointment

The eligibility for the COVID-19 booster vaccine is as follows:

  • people aged 50 and over
  • people who live and work in care homes
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • people aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts them at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19
  • carers aged 16 and over
  • people aged 16 and over who live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)


For more information, please go to NHS England's COVID-19 Booster Vaccine page.


Eligible patients will receive a text when they are able to book their COVID-19 booster vaccine. The text will contain a link to book the appointment. If you don't have a mobile phone, or are unable to use the internet on your phone, letters will be sent. There will be a telephone number you can ring to book your COVID-19 booster appointment.


You will need to leave at least 3 months between your second COVID-19 vaccine and the booster vaccine. We will work this out for you and invite you at the correct time.


If you feel you should be eligible for the COVID booster vaccine but have not been contacted by the vaccine centre, then please inform us via our Vaccine Enquiry page.


Whilst you can have your annual flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster vaccine at the same time, based on the above this is not always logistically possible. Therefore, the vaccines will be administered separately (Flu vaccines at Blackthorn Health Centre and COVID-19 vaccines at the Lowford Surgery site). In addition, as per NHS immunisations protocols when administered separately, you will need to have a gap of at least 7 days between your vaccinations.


At the moment we will be vaccinating patients with the Pfizer vaccine.


If you have not yet had your second COVID-19 vaccine, or not yet received your first (and are eligible), you can currently contact NHS 119 to arrange these appointments.