Flu is a serious condition that kills thousands and hospitalizes thousands more in England each year. The flu vaccination is the best protection for you and those around you which is why it is offered for free for those most at risk.
Flu and coronavirus
Adults at high risk from flu are also most at risk from coronavirus and the free vaccine is more important than ever, to help protect the nation from a double threat this winter.
That’s why this year, the free flu vaccine is being offered to a record number of people to help protect as many as possible from flu and ease pressure on the NHS and urgent care services.
How to get the flu vaccine
Ask your pharmacist or GP if you’re eligible for a free flu vaccine. If your child is at school and aged 4-11-year-old make sure you sign and return the consent form.
Changes have been made to make sure it's safe for you to have the flu vaccine at GP surgeries and pharmacies. These changes include social distancing, hand washing and wearing protective equipment.
Adult flu vaccine
The flu vaccine is given to people who:
- are 65 and over (including those who'll be 65 by 31 March 2021)
- have certain health conditions
- are pregnant
- are in a 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's at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
- frontline health or social care workers
If you're aged 50 to 64 and have a health condition that means you're more at risk from flu, you should get your flu vaccine as soon as possible. Other 50 to 64 year-olds will be contacted about a flu vaccine later.
Children’s flu vaccine
The children's flu vaccine is safe and effective. It's offered every year as a nasal spray to children to help protect them against flu.
The nasal spray flu vaccine is free on the NHS for:
- children aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2020 – born between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2018
- all primary school children (reception to year 6)
- all year 7 in secondary school
- children aged 2 to 17 years with long-term health conditions
If your child is aged between 6 months and 2 years and is in a high-risk group for flu, they'll be offered a flu vaccine injection instead of the nasal spray.
This is because the nasal spray is not licensed for children under 2 years.
Children aged 2 to 17 years may also have the flu vaccine injection if the nasal spray vaccine is not suitable for them.