Vaccines are vital for protecting the population of Kent and Medway; vaccines are the best defence we have against viruses including flu, Covid-19, meningitis, and measles, mumps and rubella.

Eligible residents are encouraged to protect themselves by making sure they are up-to-date with all their vaccinations.

Vaccines are extremely safe. All vaccines must go through the same regulatory approval process as any medicines to make sure they meet strict safety standards and offer high levels of protection.

The Covid-19 spring booster programme is now live. The spring vaccination is available until 30 June this year.

People eligible for a spring booster include:

  • adults aged 75 years and over by 30 June 2024
  • residents in a care home for older adults
  • individuals aged six months and over who are immunosuppressed.

The NHS is sending texts, emails, NHS App messages or letters to those who are eligible, but you do not have to wait for the invite to book. 

  • The NHS National Booking System is open for bookings – appointments start on 22 April. 
  • Phone 119 for free if you can’t get online (translators are available)
  • If you are aged 16 and over you can also use the NHS App.
  • Parents or carers can book a Covid-19 vaccination for children under 16 on their behalf.

Flu vaccines are safe and effective. They're offered every year on the NHS to help protect people at risk of flu and its complications.

The best time to have a flu vaccine is in the autumn before flu starts spreading. The seasonal flu campaign runs from September to March. 

You can have a free NHS flu vaccine at:

  • your GP surgery
  • a pharmacy offering the service (if you're aged 18 or over)
  • some maternity services if you're pregnant
  • catch-up community clinics (for children). 

The children's nasal spray flu vaccine is given to:

  • children aged two or three on 31 August 2023 (born between 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2021)
  • all primary school children (Reception to Year 6)
  • all secondary school children (Year 7 to Year 11)
  • children aged two to 17 with certain long-term health conditions.

Babies and children aged six months to two years with certain health conditions will be offered a flu vaccine injection instead of the nasal spray.

Find out more and book a community clinic for children aged two or three, primary school children and secondary school children.

The MMR vaccine is a safe and effective combined vaccine.

It protects against three serious illnesses:

  • measles
  • mumps
  • rubella (german measles).

These highly infectious conditions can easily spread between unvaccinated people.

Getting vaccinated is important, as these conditions can also lead to serious problems including meningitis, hearing loss and problems during pregnancy.

The MMR vaccine is given to babies and young children as part of the NHS vaccination schedule.

The first dose is given when children are one, the second at three years and four months.

If you have not had two doses, you can ask your GP practice. 

If your child has missed their MMR before starting school, you can also book a catch-up vaccination for your child at a community clinic or via your GP.