For most healthy people, symptoms of flu are unpleasant but pass after several days. However, older people, the very young, pregnant women and those with underlying health issues are at risk of severe illness if they catch flu. Last year, around 760 people were admitted to intensive care with complications of flu.
Flu vaccinations are free for lots of people, to protect those at greater risk and to help prevent the spread of the disease.
Flu vaccinations are completely safe and cannot give you flu.
Contact your local GP to get your free flu vaccination…
If you’re at greater risk of flu
You are at greater risk of flu if you:
- are aged 65 or over
- have a long term health condition like asthma, diabetes, or chest or heart complaints
- are pregnant
If you’re a carer
Whether you are a paid or unpaid carer – if you’re the main carer for someone who is ill or disabled and whose health would be at risk if you fell ill, you are entitled to a free flu vaccination from your GP.
If you have a child aged two or three
This year, the free vaccine is also being offered to children aged two and three. The vaccine will not only protect healthy children from flu, but will also help to reduce the spread of flu and protect others, such as younger siblings, grandparents and those who are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill from flu.
Speak to your employer…
If you’re a frontline health and social care worker
As part of your duty of care to your patients or residents, you should do everything in your power to protect them against flu. Your employer should arrange for you to get a free vaccination.
For more information about seasonal flu and free vaccinations go to the flu page on the NHS Choices website, the link can be found under external links.