The Flu vaccination is available every year on the NHS to help protect people 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. However, for certain vulnerable people (the very old, very young, pregnant women and people with a chronic disease) Flu can be much more severe. This year, we have other winter
illnesses in circulation as well, so having a flu vaccine can help to boost
Did you know that Flu is caused by viruses so it cannot be treated with antibiotics? Antibiotics can only work against bacteria.
You can arrange to have the Flu vaccine free of charge if you:
- are 50 years old or over
- are a child aged 2 or 3 years old
- are a child in school years 1 to 11
- are pregnant
- are an adult of a child with certain health conditions
- are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility
- are a front-line health and care worker
- receive a carers allowance
- are the main carer for someone who is elderly, vulnerable or disabled who may be at risk
How we can help
You can have your NHS Flu vaccine at:
- your GP surgery
- a local pharmacy offering the service
- your midwifery service if they offer it for pregnant women
Not true. The injected Flu vaccine that is given to adults contains inactivated Flu viruses, so it can't give you Flu. Some people get a slight temperature and aching muscles for a couple of days afterwards, but other reactions are very rare.
Not true. The viruses that cause Flu can change every year, so you need a vaccination each year that matches the new viruses. The vaccine usually provides protection for the duration of the Flu season that year.
Not true. You should have the vaccine whatever stage of pregnancy you are in. If you're pregnant, you could get very ill if you get Flu which could also be bad for your baby. Having the jab can also protect your baby against Flu after they're born and during the early months of life.
Even if you are not eligible for a free vaccine you can arrange to receive the Flu vaccination at a local pharmacy or via your GP (for a small charge). It will help to stop spreading Flu to other people who may be at more risk of serious problems.
Find out more about the Flu vaccine