Tesco is working with health charities to encourage take-up of the flu vaccine from September.
The retailer said it will commence administering the jabs in its in-store pharmacies next week and has launched a new online booking system that aims to give people greater flexibility around when they can book a jab. The retailer said it pharmacies will typically be open longer hours than GP surgeries and high street pharmacies.
The jab will be free for groups that are eligible for a free NHS flu jab, and cost £9 for those who are not.
It will be administered by a Tesco pharmacist in a private consultation room that is cleaned before each appointment, to ensure all appointments are compliant with Covid guidance.
“We want to make getting your vaccination as easy as doing the weekly shop,” said Tesco superintendent pharmacist Adrian Price.
“We’re doing all we can to make it as convenient as possible for people to get their flu jab to protect themselves and their families. This is the most important flu jab ever for those at risk.”
Tesco is working with the British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK and Cancer Research UK through their ‘Helping you to live healthier’ partnership to promote the importance of the flu jab.
The partnership is citing figures which found the flu jab was associated with a 50% reduction in mortality during flu season for people living with type 2 diabetes, according to research carried out over a seven-year period.
For people with heart and circulatory diseases, having the flu vaccine cuts the risk of a heart attack by 27% and of dying by 25%. It said in the winter of 2019/20, there were around 6,600 excess deaths from heart and circulatory diseases in the UK, with flu likely to be a contributing factor.
“People with conditions including heart disease, diabetes and many cancers are at increased risk of severe illness if they get the flu. This year, the presence of Covid-19 adds to that risk, so it’s even more important people get vaccinated,” said BHF senior cardiac nurse Maureen Talbot.
“We’d encourage everyone with a qualifying health condition to take up a free flu jab. Getting the jab will ensure you’re protecting yourself as well as playing your part in helping to ease pressure on the NHS at an extremely busy time.”