The flu vaccination is available from the NHS every year to help protect adults and children at risk of flu and its complications.
Flu is a highly infectious and common illness. Symptoms include a high temperature, headache, general aches and pains, a sore throat and tiredness. You can have flu without any symptoms and pass it on to family, friends and people in your community, many of whom may be at increased risk from flu.
Having the flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself against flu.
Flu vaccination is particularly important this year because:
- more people are likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the Covid-19 pandemic
- if you get flu and Covid-19 at the same time, research shows you're more likely to be seriously ill
- getting vaccinated against flu and Covid-19 will provide protection for you and those around you for both these serious illnesses
The free flu vaccination is offered on the NHS to those who are at increased risk from the effects of flu including:
The below groups will be eligible for a flu vaccine from 1 September 2023:
- those aged 65 years and over
- those aged 6 months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups
- pregnant women
- all children aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2023
- primary school aged children (from Reception to Year 6)
- secondary school aged children (from Year 7 - Year 11)
- those in long-stay residential care homes
- carers in receipt of carer's allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person
- close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
- a frontline social care worker or someone who provides social care through direct payments or personal health budgets
You should also make sure you have all your Covid-19 vaccinations and boosters. Find information at NHS: Covid-19 booster vaccine.
Catch it, bin it, kill it
In addition to the flu jab, you can help to prevent the spread of flu by:
- staying at home if you have the symptoms, to avoid spreading infection
- catching any coughs and sneezes in a tissue, throwing the tissue away and washing your hands
If you have a question regarding the flu vaccine please go to NHS: flu vaccination. If your question is not answered please contact your GP surgery or other healthcare professional.