People who should have a flu jab
The injected flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to people who are at risk to ensure that they are protected against catching flu and developing serious complications.
You are eligible to receive a free flu jab if you:
- are 65 years of age or over
- are pregnant
- have certain medical conditions (see below)
- are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility
- receive a carer’s allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
Flu jab for people with medical conditions
The injected flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to anyone with a serious long term health condition. That includes these types of illnesses:
- chronic (long-term) respiratory disease, such as asthma (that requires inhaled or tablet steroid treatment or has led to hospital admission in the past), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchitis
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
- problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease, or if you have had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system due to conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or as a result of medication such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
This list of conditions isn’t definitive. It’s always an issue of clinical judgement. Your GP or nurse can assess you individually to take into account your risk of flu exacerbating any underlying illness you may have, as well as your risk of serious illness from flu itself. The vaccine should always be offered in such cases, even if you are not technically in one of the risk groups above.
If you live with someone who has a weakened immune system, you may also be advised to have a flu vaccine. Speak to your GP about this.
Flu vaccine for children
The flu vaccine is recommended for:
- children over the age of six months with a long term health condition
- healthy children aged two and three (older children will have the nasal spray provided by the school nursing team)
Children aged between six months and two years of age who are eligible for the flu vaccine should have the flu jab.
Children eligible for the flu vaccine aged between two and 18 will usually have the flu vaccine nasal spray.