Flu will often get better on its own, but it can make some people seriously ill. It's important to get the flu vaccine if you're advised to.
Flu vaccines are safe and effective. They're offered every year on the NHS to help protect people at risk of flu and its complications.
A flu vaccine is given to people who:
- are 65 and over (including those who'll be 65 by 31 March 2024)
- 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 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 and social care workers.
The children's nasal spray flu vaccine is given to:
- children aged 2 or 3 on 31 August 2023 (born between 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2021)
- all primary school children (Reception to Year 6)
- all secondary school children (Year 7 to Year 11)
- children aged 2 to 17 with certain long-term health conditions.
Babies and children aged 6 months to 2 years with certain health conditions will be offered a flu vaccine injection instead of the nasal spray.
Are you pregnant?
Katie Philpott is a matron on a local maternity ward. She describes how the flu vaccine can protect you and baby from serious illness.
Are you a carer?
Nikita Kanani, GP and SRO of the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, NHS England urges paid and unpaid carers to get vaccinated.