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Protect yourself this winter – get vaccinated!

Posted on September 18th, 2023

Torbay residents are being urged to get vaccinated as soon as possible following the emergence of a new Covid-19 variant.

NHS England announced the winter Covid and flu vaccination programmes are being brought forward to help combat the strain, nicknamed Pirola.

Torbay General Practice (TGP) – an alliance of ten GP practices – is encouraging all eligible residents to take up the vaccine by the end of October to help the most vulnerable in the area.

People who are visiting the area can also get their vaccines at the Riviera International Centre in Torquay, which is where the area’s vaccine service is based.

You can book an appointment from September 18 either through the national booking service or by calling 119. Do not contact your GP practice to arrange your vaccine.

Nicci Hilson, Torbay Covid Vaccination Service Project Lead, said: “The new strain – and the recent increase in cases – is a sharp reminder that that Covid hasn’t gone away.

“It’s vitally important that the most vulnerable residents continue to protect themselves against the disease and that we avoid putting friends and family members at risk.

“And the best way to do that is by getting vaccinated.”

Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS England Medical Director, said: “Vaccinations are our best defence against flu and COVID-19 ahead of what could be a very challenging winter, and with the potential for this new covid variant to increase the risk of infection, we are following the latest expert guidance and bringing the covid vaccination programme forward, with people able to get their flu vaccine at the same time to maximise protection.

“The NHS will work quickly to offer people protection against these nasty viruses as soon as possible, first going into adult care homes and inviting those most at risk including those with weakened immune systems.

“So please come forward to get your protection against both covid and flu as soon as possible once invited – it will help protect you and those around you this winter.”

To arrange your flu vaccine, get in touch with your GP practice. You can find if you’re eligible for a free vaccine at

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