COVID-19 and flu vaccinations – health and social care workers

COVID-19 vaccination

All health and social care workers, whether frontline or not, are eligible for a primary course of COVID-19 vaccination (usually two doses) followed by an initial booster.

Frontline workers are also eligible for a further, seasonal dose over autumn/winter. Frontline workers are defined as follows in the Green Book (chapter 14a), pages 21 to 22:

Staff involved in direct patient care, including:

  • Staff who have frequent face-to-face clinical contact with patients and who are directly involved in patient care in either secondary or primary care/community settings, such as doctors, dentists, midwives and nurses, paramedics and ambulance staff, pharmacists, optometrists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and radiographers.
  • Those working in independent, voluntary and non-standard healthcare settings such as hospices, and community-based mental health or addiction services.
  • Staff working on the COVID-19 vaccination programme, temporary staff, students, trainees and volunteers who are working with patients.

Non-clinical staff in secondary or primary care/community healthcare settings, including:

  • Non-clinical ancillary staff who may have social contact with patients but are not directly involved in patient care, such as receptionists, ward clerks, porters and cleaners.

Laboratory and pathology staff, including:

  • Hospital-based laboratory and mortuary staff who frequently handle SARS-CoV-2 or collect or handle potentially infected specimens, including respiratory, gastrointestinal and blood specimens.
  • Cleaners, porters, secretaries and receptionists in laboratories.
  • Frontline funeral operatives and mortuary technicians/embalmers are both at risk of exposure and likely to spend a considerable amount of time in care homes and hospital settings where they may also expose multiple patients.

Frontline social care workers providing care to those who are clinically vulnerable (as defined by Tables 3 and 4 in the Green Book) and those of advanced age, including:

  • Those working in long-stay residential and nursing care homes or other long-stay care facilities where rapid spread is likely to follow introduction of infection and cause high morbidity and mortality.
  • Social care staff directly involved in the care of clinically vulnerable patients or clients.
  • Others involved directly in delivering social care such that they and clinically vulnerable patients/ clients are at increased risk of exposure.

How to get your COVID-19 vaccination

The seasonal (autumn booster) campaign will end on 12 February 2023. Everyone who is currently eligible and is yet to come forward is encouraged to do so by this date.

You may be able to get your COVID-19 vaccination from your employer. Alternatively, you can book:

  • On the NHS website – visit
  • Through the NHS App – log in to the app and choose ‘Book or manage a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination’. You can download the app at
  • By calling 119.

You can also visit a COVID-19 walk-in vaccination service without an appointment. Please check which sites are offering walk-ins in your area before attending at

Flu vaccination

All frontline health and social care workers that have contact with patients or clients should be offered the flu vaccine by their employer to protect themselves and those they care for (as per the Green Book, page 16). If you’re unsure how to access the flu vaccine, please speak to your employer.

For frontline healthcare workers in Trusts please contact your employer in the first instance who can advise on how you can access the vaccination.

For some frontline healthcare workers, if your employer is not able to offer the flu vaccine, you can get it through a complementary NHS scheme. This scheme applies to specific social care providers including registered domiciliary care providers, voluntary managed hospice providers and those that receive direct payments or personal health budgets.

Through the complementary NHS scheme, you can book your vaccine through your GP surgery, local pharmacy or the flu national booking system. You do not need to present your ID but if you ask your employer to provide you with a letter identifying you as a social care professional it may make things easier on the day.