The jab is free to everyone aged 50 and over, pregnant women and frontline health care staff. People in long stay residential care homes and carers are also eligible, as well as close contacts of anyone who is immunocompromised. Clinics will be run at various GP practices and pharmacies over the next couple of months, and will be on an appointment only basis.
Adults who are not eligible for a free flu vaccination can get it for a small charge from certain high street pharmacies.
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “Millions of people get flu each winter and, for most of us, it is just extremely unpleasant. But for those with long term health conditions, it can prove incredibly dangerous – with many ending up in hospital with, or even dying from, influenza.
“The vaccine is quick, safe and effective and, if you haven't had yours yet, please get it as soon as possible as flu season is almost upon us.
"I would also encourage people who are in contact with or who work with vulnerable people, including health and social care professionals and carers, to get vaccinated – not only to protect themselves but also the people they care for."
Meanwhile, the Covid-19 booster programme is running alongside the flu programme, and clinics will be offering both doses at the same time, where possible, to those eligible for both types of vaccination.
Sally Roberts, Chief Nursing Officer for the Black Country and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It’s fantastic that the flu vaccination programme is now underway across the area.
“Due to the public health measures that were in place last year, there were lower levels of flu than there has been in previous years. That means our immunity levels to flu may be lower this year and more people are likely to catch it this winter. That’s why it’s really important that all those eligible for a flu jab come forward to help protect themselves and others from what can be a severe, and sometimes fatal, illness.
“The Covid-19 booster programme will also run alongside our flu vaccine programme and, wherever possible, those eligible will be offered the booster and flu vaccines together.
“The vaccines are there to give protection to those most vulnerable and prevent them from getting seriously ill from these viruses, and so I’d encourage anyone who has received their invite for either vaccine to please get booked in as soon as possible. If you are offered both vaccines, it's safe to have them at the same time.”
People are asked not to contact their GP to arrange their flu and Covid-19 booster jabs; the NHS will be in touch when people become eligible and invite them to book an appointment.
For more details of flu vaccinations for adults and children, please visit Flu Vaccines.