This guide can help you understand the vaccines offered in the UK and when to have them. It also explains how they work and why they’re safe and important. If you have any questions or concerns regarding vaccinations, please contact us.

Winter vaccinations 2022

The Scottish Government has announced that people aged 65 and over will be first in line for their flu vaccination and COVID-19 winter booster.
Texts, emails or letters with appointment times have been issued to those aged 65 and over in Lothian. If you are 65 or over and your invitation has not reached you, please call the National Vaccination Helpline on 0800 030 8013 for assistance.
Please note that if you are registered as Housebound you will not be sent a letter inviting you to a vaccination clinic. You will be contacted by telephone by someone from your Health and Social Care Partnership Vaccination Team to arrange a suitable time for them to visit you in your home.
Texts, emails or letters with appointment times for patients who are At Risk and are aged 5-64 will be issued shortly and should reach eligible patients in Lothian by 17 October.
Appointments for all other priority groups will be made available as the programme progresses. You can check your eligibility for the flu vaccination and/or the COVID-19 winter booster via NHS Inform.
Those without internet access can contact the National Vaccination Helpline on 0800 030 8013 for any assistance.
Primary and secondary school children will receive their flu vaccination at school. Appointment letters have been sent to homes inviting children aged 2 to 5 who are not yet in school forward for the free flu vaccine, which is given as a painless nasal spray.
More information on the winter vaccination programme, how to book and how to obtain a copy of your COVID Vaccination Status can be found at NHS Inform and on NHS Lothian’s website which includes a helpful list of Frequently Asked Questions.
Initial COVID-19 vaccinations
Everyone aged 16 or above is eligible for a first dose, second dose and one booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.

Who is eligible for the winter COVID-19 booster?

Following final advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), the following groups will be offered a winter COVID-19 booster:
• residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults
• frontline health and social care workers (see Appendix C for full definitions)
• all adults aged 50 years and over
• those aged 5 to 49 years in a clinical risk group, including those who are pregnant
• those aged 5 to 49 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression
• carers aged 16 to 49 years
Who is eligible for this year’s flu vaccination?
Those eligible for a flu vaccination, as per the JCVI recommendations, are:
• pregnant women
• those aged 6 months and over in clinical risk groups
• all children aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2022
• all primary and secondary school aged children
• those aged 50 and over (including those who turn 50 by 31 March 2023)
• those in long-stay residential care homes
• carers
• close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
• frontline staff employed by the following types of social care providers without employer-led occupational health schemes:
 a registered residential care or nursing home
 a registered domiciliary care provider
 a voluntary managed hospice provider
 Direct Payment (personal budgets) or Personal Health Budgets, such as Personal Assistants
If a person is still unsure if they are eligible for one or both vaccinations, they can check their eligibility via the NHS Inform website.