Winter Flu Vaccinations

Flu vaccination by injection, commonly known as the 'flu jab' is available every year on the NHS to protect adults (and some children) at risk of flu and its complications.

Flu can be unpleasant, but if you are otherwise healthy it will usually clear up on its own within a week.

The injected flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to people who are at risk. This is to help protect them against catching flu and developing serious complications.

You should have the flu vaccine if you:

  • are 65 years old or over
  • are pregnant
  • have certain medical conditions
  • are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility
  • receive a carer's allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill

Frontline health and social care workers are also eligible to receive the flu vaccine. It is your employer's responsibility to arrange and pay for this vaccine.

Aged 65 and over

The injected flu vaccine is offered free of charge if you are aged 65 and over.

Flu vaccine for children

The injected flu vaccine is offered free of charge for:

  • children over the age of 6 months with a long-term health condition.
  • children aged 2 and 3 years.
  • children in reception class and school years 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

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.

Pregnant women and the flu vaccine

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

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

Flu vaccine for people with medical conditions

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

  • chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma (which requires an inhaled or tablet steroid treatment, or has led to hospital admission in the past), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis.
  • chronic heart disease, such as heart failure.
  • chronic kidney disease.
  • chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis.
  • chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease or multiple sclerosis (MS).
  • diabetes.
  • problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed.
  • a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medication such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy.
  • being seriously overweight (BMI of 40 or above).

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.

Flu vaccine for health and social care workers

Outbreaks of flu can occur in health and social care settings, and, because flu is so contagious, staff, patients and residents are all at risk of infection.

If you're a frontline health and social care worker, you're eligible for an NHS flu vaccine.

It is your employer's responsibility to arrange vaccination for you. Find out what arrangements have been made at your workplace for providing flu vaccination.

If you are an NHS-employed frontline healthcare worker, the NHS will pay for your vaccination.

You may be able to have the flu vaccine at your GP surgery or local pharmacy offering the service if your employer does not offer a flu vaccination programme and you're a frontline health or social care worker employed by a:

  • registered residential care/nursing home
  • registererd homecare organisation
  • hospice

The flu vaccine will help protect you, your colleagues and the patients and residents you care for.

The Flu vaccine is a vital preventative measure for "at risk" people to avoid more serious illness, hospitalisation or even death.
Parson Drove Surgery Website