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Some patients may be asking community pharmacists and their teams about COVID-19 vaccination and whether flu vaccination is still required. The message for patients, including social care workers, is that they still need to get the flu vaccine even if they will be getting the COVID-19 vaccine soon, as the COVID-19 vaccine will not protect them against the flu or stop them spreading the flu virus.

Eligible patients should still get their flu vaccination at the earliest opportunity to protect themselves and those around them. They should not delay getting vaccinated in anticipation of being offered the COVID-19 vaccine.

Ideally there should be a gap of at least seven days between a flu vaccination and either dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination (which is given in two doses, 21 days apart). If patients are called to get a COVID-19 vaccination within seven days of receiving their flu vaccination, in the majority of cases, vaccination with the COVID-19 vaccine will proceed to avoid any further delay in protection. The suggested seven-day gap between the flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine is recommended so that if patients experience any side-effects, it will be easier to identify which vaccine caused them.

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