The days are getting shorter and the weather is getting colder, meaning that the time of year when the flu virus thrives is right around the corner. The flu vaccine is free to many people across the UK and it is extremely important that all eligible people get their jab.
The flu can be very dangerous and hospitalisations can put a lot of stress on the NHS over the winter period. This is especially threatening this year, as COVID-19 is also still circulating. This could result in more people requiring treatment and some people contracting both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time or within just a couple of weeks. This can lead to more serious illness. The NHS is also warning that more people are likely to get the flu this winter as fewer people have built up natural immunity due to the periods of isolation we experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The vaccine provides protection against the virus. This reduces the number of people getting seriously ill or dying.
You can get the flu vaccination for FREE if you are:
- 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 system, 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
From mid-october, people aged 50 years old or over can also receive a free NHS flu vaccine.
You can have the NHS flu vaccine at your GP surgery, a pharmacy or a maternity service. You may also be offered it if you attend a hospital appointment.
This website allows you to find and book a flu vaccine appointment. So, do not wait any longer, book your vaccine today!