Older adults are at higher risk of serious illness from certain infections and are offered vaccines to help protect them against these diseases. 

Covid-19 vaccine

The Covid-19 vaccine is offered seasonally – usually during the winter months, and again in the spring. The groups of people eligible for the vaccine changes for each campaign. In autumn 2023, the patients eligible for flu vaccine were also eligible for the covid vaccine.

Find out who is eligible for the current Covid-19 seasonal booster vaccine.

Flu vaccine

Seasonal influenza is very common and highly infectious. It can be much more severe than the common cold. For some at-risk groups (especially frail elderly people and individuals with certain health conditions), flu can be very dangerous. The flu vaccine is seasonal, usually starting in September/October.

Pneumococcal vaccine

Older adults and some people with health problems are more likely to get pneumonia, a lung infection that makes it harder to breathe. It’s more common among people whose immune systems are weak. All individuals aged 65 and over should have the pneumococcal vaccine. Adults over 65 years will be offered a pneumococcal vaccine with 23 strains.

Shingles vaccine

This vaccine gives protection against shingles, a painful skin rash caused by the reactivation of the chickenpox (varicella-zoster) virus in people who have previously had chickenpox.

People aged between 70 and 79, who have not received the shingles vaccine previously, are eligible for the shingles vaccine. They are eligible up to their 80th birthday.

People turning 65 and 70 years from 1 September each year will be offered the Shingrix vaccine and will remain eligible up to their 80th birthday.

Individuals aged 50 years and above who are severely immunocompromised are also eligible for the shingles vaccine.

Where to have the vaccines

If you are eligible for the Covid-19 and flu vaccines you can access these via your GP practice or at a local pharmacy.

You will receive an invite letter or text for the Covid-19 vaccine, which will include details of how to book using the national booking system.

The pneumococcal and shingles vaccines are available via your GP practice.