‘Just’ the flu? 

There’s no ‘just’ about it. 

In an average year, the flu virus kills 11,000 people and hospitalises thousands more. This is anything but a typical year, due to the potential impact of flu and COVID-19 circulating at the same time. The flu vaccine is the best protection for you and those around you. That’s why it’s free to those most at risk.  

This year, with COVID-19 in circulation, it’s more important than ever that eligible groups are vaccinated to protect them from flu. The expansion of the flu programme means that many more people will be eligible to receive the free vaccine for the first time, but may not realise this.

Eligible groups:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children aged 2- 11 years old
  • Member of a shielding household
  • 65+ years old
  • Those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or who are the main carer of an older or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill
  • have a long-term condition
  • Those with a heart problem
  • Those with a chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including bronchitis, emphysema or severe asthma
  • Those with a kidney disease
  • Those with lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (such as steroid medication or cancer treatment)
  • Those with liver disease
  • Had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
  • Those with diabetes
  • Those with a neurological condition, e.g. multiple sclerosis (MS), cerebral palsy
  • Those with a learning disability
  • Those with a problem with your spleen, e.g. sickle cell disease, or you have had your spleen removed
  • Those who are seriously overweight (BMI of 40 and above)
  • Frontline health and social care workers
  • 50-64 year olds (from November)

Ask your pharmacist or GP if you’re in any doubt as to whether you're eligible for the free vaccine.