Who is eligible for the flu jab?
People with long term health conditions
Flu is a highly infectious disease and can lead to serious complications if you have an underlying health condition (such as COPD, bronchitis, emphysema), diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease or a chronic neurological disease (like multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy) Immunosuppressed, morbidly obese or have problems with your spleen. Flu on top of health conditions like these increases your chance of serious health complications and a hospital visit.
Adults aged 65 years and over
The flu vaccination continues to be available to adults aged 65 years old and over, who are more vulnerable and may suffer more than most people if they catch flu. This season it is recommended that they receive the trivalent ‘adjuvanted’ influenza vaccine (aTIV) which boosts the immune response in older people. A second vaccine, which is manufactured using cells rather than eggs, will be offered if aTIV is not is available
Children aged 2-11 years old
Flu can be nasty for little children. Children also tend to be super-spreaders of flu, so if they get it they are likely to infect other vulnerable or older family members. Children who get flu have the same symptoms as adults – including fever, chills, aching muscles, headache, stuffy nose, dry cough and sore throat. Some children develop a very high fever or complications of flu, such as bronchitis or pneumonia and may need hospital treatment. The flu vaccine will help protect your child from flu and reduce the chance of it spreading on to others. For most children, the flu vaccine is not usually an injection, just a quick and easy nasal spray. Children aged 2 and 3 (on 31 August 2020) receive the vaccine through their GP and those aged 4-11 years old receive it in school. If you have a child who is of the eligible age, make sure you sign the consent form allowing them to have the flu vaccine at school.
Pregnancy naturally weakens the body’s immune system and as a result flu can cause serious complications for women and their babies. One of the most common complications of flu is bronchitis, a chest infection that can become serious and develop into pneumonia. If women have flu while they're pregnant, it could mean their baby is born prematurely or has a low birthweight which could even lead to stillbirth or death. Pregnant women may be less able to fight off infections, increasing the risk of becoming ill from flu. The flu jab is the safest way to help protect pregnant women and their babies against flu, no matter how many months pregnant or how fit and healthy the woman may feel.
Household contacts of those on the NHS shielded patient list for COVID-19
Flu can easily spread (even if you are not showing symptoms) to those around you who are vulnerable. The free flu vaccine is the very best protection for those are most at risk from flu.
If you live with someone on the NHS shielded patient list, the free flu vaccine is the best protection. Ask your pharmacist or GP if you are eligible.
Those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or who are the main carer of an older or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill
Flu can easily spread (even if you are not showing symptoms) to those around you who are vulnerable and for whom you have caring responsibilities. The free flu vaccine is the very best protection for those are most at risk from flu.
If you are in receipt of a carer’s allowance or are the main carer of an older or disabled person you are eligible for the free flu vaccination. Ask your pharmacist or GP.