This year more people than ever are eligible for a free flu vaccine. The vaccine is the best defence we have against this highly contagious illness.
For the first time, all primary school aged children will be offered the nasal spray vaccine, meaning that an extra 600,000 children will be protected. A wider range of vaccines are now available which should offer better protection, including the adjuvanted vaccine for people aged over 65, which is the gold standard.
The flu season is from September to January. Influenza is a potentially-life threatening illness and not just a “bad cold”. Flu kills an average of 8,000 people every year, and can be particularly serious in older adults, very young children, and people with underlying health conditions. Ensuring as many people as possible get the flu vaccine is important not only because it protects individuals, but because it also protects others.
Who Should have the flu vaccine?
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. The NHS has more details on who should have the flu vaccine
- adults 65 and over
- people with certain medical conditions (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months of age) See which Long term conditions are eligible
- pregnant women
- children aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2019 (i.e. born between 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2017)
- children in primary school
- frontline health or social care workers
For more information, see the NHS Flu vaccine overview page.