Make sure you’re protected against fluPublished Wednesday, 11 October 2017
The NHS is reminding people in at-risk groups to get their flu jab to help them stay well this winter.
Adults aged over 65, those with long-term health conditions such as severe asthma or heart disease, carers, pregnant women and children aged two to eight are amongst those being encouraged to get their flu jabs now.
Flu is a nasty virus, which spreads easily through the population when people sneeze and cough. For most people, it is an extremely unpleasant illness, with high temperatures, muscle aches and feeling generally unwell. However, for people who are at risk, with long term conditions, or for those who are elderly or very young, it can be life-threatening.
Although it’s not possible to know which strains of flu will circulate each winter, the flu vaccination is the best protection against an unpredictable virus, which can cause severe illness and deaths amongst vulnerable groups.
The injected flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to people who are at risk. This is to ensure 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
- 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
- Front-line health and social care workers are also eligible to receive the flu vaccine.
Flu vaccine for children:
The flu vaccine is free on the NHS for:
- children over the age of six months with a long-term health condition
- children aged two and three on 31 August 2017 – that is, born between 1 September 2013 and 31 August 2015
- children in reception class and school years one, two, three and four
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 17 will usually have the flu vaccine nasal spray.
If you are eligible for the free flu vaccination on the NHS you can get this done at your GP or local pharmacy. Protect yourself from flu. Don’t leave it to chance.
For more information visit www.nhs.uk/staywell