Crucial Covid jab update for vulnerable groups

Health leaders say it is not too late for Filton residents to have a flu or COVID-19 vaccination.

They are calling on people in eligible groups – including over-50s, frontline health workers, pregnant mums and people with long-term health conditions, to come forward if they have not been fully vaccinated.

The call comes as a surge in winter illnesses has seen a shortage of cough, cold and flu remedies in many pharmacies and supermarkets in recent weeks.

GP Dr Geeta Iyer, the clinical lead for the Mass Vaccination Programme in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, said: “Covid-19 and flu are continuing to circulate in our communities, with lots of people catching the viruses and many ending up in hospital.

“We’re calling for eligible people, particularly those with long-term health conditions, to come forward if they have not been fully vaccinated yet.

“Vaccination is the most effective protection we have. While a vaccine won’t prevent you becoming unwell from the viruses, it will reduce symptoms for the vast majority of people and help you get back to your normal self, sooner.”

People who are eligible can contact their GP or local pharmacy for information and details of how to book and locations for walk-in vaccinations are also updated regularly online at

In early January concerns over shortages of cold and flu medicines led to a meeting between health minster Will Quince and the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies.

The Department of Health and Social Care said supply problems were “sporadic and localised”.

A spokesperson said: “We are aware of reports of issues with the availability of some branded cold and flu medicines – these appear to be temporary and localised.

“Supply of over-the-counter medicines is not controlled by central government but we are engaging with suppliers to investigate and help ensure that over-the-counter cold and flu medicines remain available.”