Flu can be very serious and can even kill. It spreads easily so you can be putting others at risk. Not only that, but if you get flu and the Coronavirus at the same time, you’re more likely to become seriously ill.
The best protection against becoming ill is the free NHS flu vaccine which could be one vaccine in the arm or a nasal spray if you are aged under 16.
The annual vaccine works by boosting antibodies, helping the body to fight off the virus, and it is free for people who are at increased risk from the effects of flu. The vaccine is safe and doesn’t give you flu.
NHS teams across the HCV Partnership are still currently vaccinating people who are eligible for a free flu vaccine.
You can get a free flu vaccine if you:
- are 50 and over
- age 6 months to 50 years and have certain health conditions
- are pregnant
- are in long-stay residential care
- receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
- live with someone who’s at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
- are a close contact of someone who is immunocompromised
- are a frontline health or social care worker or you provide health or social care through direct payments or personal health budgets (or both).
You can have the NHS flu vaccine at:
- your GP surgery
- a pharmacy offering the service
- your midwifery service if you’re pregnant
- a hospital appointment.
The flu vaccination programme has also been extended to include all children aged two to 15 years and any child with a medical condition. Children under the age of 16 will receive a nasal spray flu vaccine.
If you have children at school, please look out for a consent form from their school. Parents may receive a paper consent or an email with a link to the e-consent. Remember to sign it and return it, or complete online, so the school know you have given your permission.
To find out more about getting your flu vaccine head to the NHS website.