The flu vaccination is safe and effective. It’s offered every year through the NHS to help protect people at risk of getting seriously ill from flu.
The best time to have your flu vaccine is in the autumn or early winter before flu starts spreading. But you can get your vaccine later.
Contact your local GP practice offering the NHS Flu vaccination.
Information about the vaccine
The flu vaccination is important because:
- while flu is unpleasant for most people, it can be dangerous and even life threatening for some people, particularly those with certain health conditions
- more people are likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the COVID-19 pandemic
- if you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time, research shows you’re more likely to be seriously ill
Who can get the flu vaccine?
The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to adults who:
- Are 65 and over (including those who will be 65 by 31 March 2023)
- 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 is more likely to get a severe infection due to a weakened immune sys-tem, such as someone living with HIV, someone who has had a transplant, or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
- Are frontline health workers
- Are social care workers who cannot get the vaccine through an occupational health scheme at work
Where to get the flu vaccine
You can have the NHS flu vaccine at:
- Your GP surgery
- A pharmacy offering the service – if you’re aged 18 or over
- Some maternity services if you’re pregnant
Sometimes, you might be offered the flu vaccine at a hospital appointment.
If you have a flu vaccine at any NHS service except your GP surgery, you do not have to tell the sur-gery to update your records. This will be done for you. If you’ve been given a flu vaccine privately, or through an occupational health scheme, you can tell your GP surgery if you would like it added to your NHS record