Flu vaccinations intro
Flu is a nasty illness that can spread easily. Find out more about how to get a Flu vaccination.
Several hundred people in England are admitted to intensive care with complications of flu each year. Each winter, hundreds of thousands of people see their GP and tens of thousands are hospitalised because of flu. Don’t put it off. It’s important that your annual flu vaccination.
You are especially at risk of flu if you are pregnant or have a weakened immune system such as a neurological disorder, liver, lung or renal disease, heart problem or diabetes.
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 2024)
- 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 system, such as someone living with HIV, someone who has had a transplant, or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
How to get a flu vaccine
If you're eligible for an NHS flu vaccine, you can:
- contact your GP surgery to book an appointment
- find a pharmacy that offers NHS flu vaccination (if you're aged 18 or over)
- book a flu vaccination appointment online or in the NHS App (if you're aged 18 or over)
Some people may be able to get vaccinated through their maternity service, care home or their employer if they are a frontline health or social care worker.
You may receive an invitation to get vaccinated, but you do not have to wait for this before booking an appointment.
Many pharmacies offer a private flu vaccination for a charge for those who want to have the flu vaccination but do not meet the eligibility criteria for a free NHS vaccine.
Flu vaccination for children
The flu vaccination is offered as a nasal spray for primary school age children, as young children’s close contact with each other means that they are more likely to transmit the virus to groups including the elderly.