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 MMR vaccine is a safe and effective combined vaccine.
It protects against three serious illnesses:
- 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.
Community clinics are available in the following locations, but they must all be booked in advance. They also provide vaccines for HPV, meningitis, and the three-in-one teenage booster for polio, diphtheria and tetanus.
Wednesday, 14 February
Newlands Children's Centre, Ramsgate
Folkestone Early Years Centre
Thursday, 15 February
Green Banks, Margate
St Mary's Church, Swanley
Dover Health Centre
Friday, 16 February
Deal Community Clinic
Holy Trinity Church Hall, Gillingham
Saturday, 17 February
The Heathside Centre, Maidstone
Kennington Scout Hall, Ashford
St Bartholomew’s Church Hall, Herne Bay
9th Dartford Scout Hall, Dartford
You can contact the team by phone on 0300 123 5205 or 07401 320923 or by email: kchft.
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. But you can get vaccinated later.
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.
You are eligible for a flu vaccine if you have any of the following conditions, listed on the drop down.
This is not an exhaustive list, so speak to your GP, pharmacist or your specialist if you think you have a medical condition that puts you more at risk.
Only 49.1 per cent of people aged 16 to 65, with a condition that made them eligible for the vaccines, had the flu jab through their GP last year.
Chronic respiratory disease
This includes people with Cystic Fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis and emphysema. For flu, those with asthma, who require continuous or repeated use of inhaled or systemic steroids or with previous exacerbations requiring hospital admission, are eligible. For the Covid-19 vaccine, people who have poorly controlled asthma are eligible – defined as more than two courses of oral corticosteroids in the preceding 24 months, or on maintenance oral corticosteroids or more than one hospital admission for asthma in the preceding 24 months.
Chronic heart disease and vascular disease
Including congenital heart disease, hypertension with cardiac complications, chronic heart failure, individuals needing regular medication and/or follow-up for ischaemic heart disease. This includes individuals with atrial fibrillation, peripheral vascular disease or a history of venous thromboembolism.
Chronic kidney disease
Chronic kidney disease at stage three, four or five, chronic kidney failure, nephrotic syndrome, kidney transplantation.
Chronic liver disease
Including cirrhosis, biliary atresia, chronic hepatitis.
Diabetes and other endocrine conditions
Including Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and Addison’s disease.
Splenic dysfunction or asplenia
This also includes conditions such as homozygous sickle cell disease, thalassemia major and coeliac syndrome that may lead to splenic dysfunction
Chronic neurological disease
Including stroke, transient ischaemic attack (TIA). This group also includes individuals with cerebral palsy, severe or profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) including all those on the learning disability register, Down’s syndrome, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease and related or similar conditions; or hereditary and degenerative disease of the nervous system or muscles; or severe neurological disability.
If you are immunosuppressed due to disease or treatment then you are eligible for the flu and Covid-19 vaccines. This includes patients undergoing chemotherapy leading to immunosuppression, patients undergoing radical radiotherapy, solid organ transplant recipients, bone marrow or stem cell transplant recipients, people living with HIV (at all stages), multiple myeloma or genetic disorders affecting the immune system. People who may require long-term immunosuppressive treatment are also eligible, including those with rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and psoriasis.
- If you have previously had blood cancer including leukaemia, lymphoma, and myeloma, then you are eligible for the vaccines.
Adults with a Body Mass Index ≥40 kg/m2.
The six-in-one vaccine (introduced in 2017) is given to babies in England to protect against six serious diseases:
• Whooping cough (pertussis)
• Hib disease (Haemophilus influenzae type b)
• Hepatitis B
Babies need three doses of the vaccine – when they are eight, 12 and 16 weeks old – to get the full protection benefits.