It’s important to look after yourself during winter as cold weather can be bad for your health. There are some simple things you can do to prepare for winter and keep warm and healthy.

Protect yourself. Protect Medway. Protect the NHS

Book your flu jab

Flu vaccines are the best protection we have against the flu virus. Flu symptoms can be unpleasant, severe and in extreme cases, life threatening. Some people are at higher risk of becoming very unwell with flu. These include:

  • people aged 65 and over
  • anyone with a long term health condition such as diabetes or a heart, lung, kidney or neurological disease
  • pregnant women

Get your #JabDone. If you or someone you know falls into this category, get your flu jab booked in now. It's free, available across Medway, and appointments can take less than 10 minutes. Getting your flu jab early can reduce your chances of catching flu by around 60%.

To encourage people who can get a free flu vaccine to book their jab as soon as possible, we're working with the following organisations:

  • Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (Medway CCG)
  • Medway NHS Foundation Trust
  • Medway Community Healthcare

Who else can get a free flu vaccine

Other people who are eligible for a free flu vaccine include:

  • children aged 2 to 3 years (nasal spray)
  • children aged 4 to 11
  • children aged up to 17 with a long term health condition
  • carers
  • those who live in long-term residential care
  • those who live with someone who is at high risk from coronavirus (COVID-19) and is on the shielded patient list
  • selected frontline health or care workers

Those aged 50 to 64 will be contacted separately about when they can book their free flu jab.

Where you can get a flu vaccine

The flu jab is available across Medway including doctor (GP) surgeries and pharmacies. Midwifery services can also offer the flu jab for pregnant women. Contact your GP or your local pharmacy for details of how to book your flu appointment.

You can find more about the flu vaccination on NHS Choices.

Protect yourself: get your jab done

If you are not eligible for a free flu jab, you can still pay for a jab at your local pharmacy (subject to availability). Speak to your local pharmacy for more details.

Symptoms: what to look for

Some symptoms of flu are similar to coronavirus symptoms. This is what to look out for:

  • sneezing or runny nose - flu symptom
  • loss of taste - coronavirus symptom
  • loss of smell - coronavirus symptom
  • new persistent cough - flu and coronavirus symptom
  • fever - flu and coronavirus symptom

If you feel unwell, please stay at home. If you have a symptom of coronavirus, you must book a coronavirus test online or phone 119.

Find out the latest updates on coronavirus in Medway.

Be a flu fighter: ways to stay safe

The colder temperatures can increase the risk of the flu virus spreading. It's important to:

  • keep warm when you are outside
  • wash hands often with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds
  • use tissues to trap germs when you cough or sneeze
  • bin used tissues as soon as possible