The flu virus strikes in winter and it can be far more serious than you think. Flu can lead to serious complications, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and it can be deadly.
That’s why the flu jab is free if you are eligible:
- If you’re aged 65 or over.
- If you have a long term health condition.
- If you are pregnant.
- If you are living in a long stay residential care home or other long stay care facility.
- If you have children or grandchildren aged two, three or four, or in school years one or two, they are eligible for a free flu vaccination. Vaccinations for school age children will be administered in school.
- If you receive 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.
If you are an NHS frontline health worker, you are eligible to receive the flu vaccine. It is your employer’s responsibility to arrange and pay for this vaccine.
If you are a frontline social care worker and are employed by a private company, your company should arrange and pay for you to be vaccinated.
Don’t forget that if you’re aged 65 or over, you are eligible for the pneumococcal vaccine, which will help protect you from pneumococcal diseases such as pneumonia.
To find out if you, or someone you know are in one of the eligible groups that can have a free NHS flu jab, please ask reception.
Flu Eligibility 2019
Flu vaccine is usually available in the practice from the end of September. We can administrate this vaccine up until the end of March if we still have vaccine supplies.
- If you are 65 or over on 31/03/2019 i.e. born on or before 31/03/1954.
- If you are currently 64 but will be 65 on 31/03/2019, you are eligible.
Children and adults with an underlying health problem:
- Chronic respiratory disease i.e asthma, COPD, bronchitis which requires an inhaled or tablet steroid treatment or has required hospital admission in the past.
- Chronic heart disease such as heart failure.
- Chronic kidney disease.
- Chronic liver disease such as hepatitis.
- Chronic neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease or motor neurone disease or multiple sclerosis.
- Problems with your spleen i.e sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed.
- A weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV, AIDS or medication such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy.
- Learning difficulties.
- Being seriously overweight (BMI of 40 or above).
Also eligible are:
- Pregnant women – if you are pregnant you are advised to have the flu vaccine regardless of the stage of pregnancy you’ve reached. There is strong evidence to suggest pregnant women have an increased risk of developing complications if they get flu.
- Patients who live in a long stay residential or care home facility.
Flu Vaccine for Children
The flu vaccine is free on the NHS for:
- Children over the age of 6 months with a long term health condition.
- Children aged 2 and 3 on 31/08/2018 – that is born between 01/09/2014 and 31/08/2016.
- Children in reception class and school years 1-5.
- Children aged between 6 months and 2 years of age, who are eligible for the flu vaccines, will receive an injected flu vaccine.
- Children eligible for the flu vaccine aged between 2 and 17 will usually have the flu vaccine nasal spray.