Seasonal Flu vaccination

If you are in one of the at-risk groups, its really important that you take up the offer of your free flu vaccination as soon as possible. Find out more about who is at risk and take a few moments to watch our short video clips about the potential consequences of not having the vaccination below.

People with existing health conditions

If you have an existing health problem, you are at greater risk of developing complications from flu and making your condition worse. Contact your GP or a community pharmacist and get your free flu jab today.

The injected flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to anyone with a serious long-term health condition, including:

This list of conditions isn’t definitive. It’s always an issue of clinical judgement.

Your GP can assess you to take into account the risk of flu making any underlying illness you may have worse, as well as your risk of serious illness from flu itself.

The vaccine should always be offered in such cases, even if you are not technically in one of the risk groups above.

If you live with someone who has a weakened immune system, you may also be advised to have a flu vaccine. Speak to your GP or pharmacist about this.

Pregnant women 

If you’re pregnant, you’re advised to have the injectable flu vaccine, regardless of the stage of pregnancy you have reached.

That’s because there’s strong evidence to suggest pregnant women have an increased risk of developing complications if they get flu.

If you’re pregnant, you’ll benefit from the flu vaccine because:

  • it reduces your chance of getting serious complications of flu, such as pneumonia, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy
  • it reduces your risk of having a miscarriage, or your baby being born prematurely or with a low birth weight, because of flu
  • it’ll help protect your baby, as they’ll continue to have some immunity to flu for the first few months of their life

It’s safe to have the flu vaccine at any stage of pregnancy from conception onwards.

Talk to a GP, midwife or pharmacist if you want more information.

Find out more about the flu vaccine in pregnancy

Children

The flu vaccine is free on the NHS for:

  • children over the age of 6 months with a long-term health condition
  • children aged 2 and 3 years on 31 August 2019 (that is, born between 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2017)
  • children in primary school

Children aged between 6 months and 2 years who are eligible for the flu vaccine will receive an injected flu vaccine.

Children eligible for the flu vaccine aged between 2 and 17 will usually have the flu vaccine nasal spray. It’s fast, easy and painless – no injections!

If your child is aged 2 or 3, contact their GP surgery today to take up the offer and help protect your children this winter.

If your child is in reception or years 1 to 6 at school, look out for the letter offering them the vaccination and sign the consent form.

Adults aged 65 or over

If you’re 65 or over, you’re at higher risk of complications from flu such as bronchitis or pneumonia. Contact your GP surgery or community pharmacist and take up the offer of your free flu jab today.

Flu vaccine for carers

If you are the main carer for someone who is elderly or disabled, speak to your GP or pharmacist about having a flu vaccine along with the person you care for.

Read more about the flu vaccine for carers on the Carers UK website.

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