Flu immunisation season is well on the way and yet quite a few patients are still unsure as to whom is entitled to the flu jab. So we felt it was necessary to clarify who can have the jab so that no one inadvertently misses their chance.
Who Should Be Immunised?
The injected flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to people who are at risk. This is to help protect them against catching flu and developing serious complications.
You should have the flu vaccine if you:
- Are 65 years and over (including those becoming age 65 years by 31st March 2019);
- Are from 18 to less than 65 years of age with one or more of the following medical conditions:
- chronic (long-term) respiratory disease, such as severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchitis;
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure;
- chronic kidney disease at stage three, four or five;
- chronic liver disease;
- chronic neurological disease, such as Parkinson’s disease or motor neurone disease, or learning disability;
- immunosuppresion, a weakened immune system due to disease (such as HIV/AIDS) or treatment (such as cancer treatment);
- asplenia or splenic dysfunction;
- morbid obesity
- Are pregnant (including those women who become pregnant during the flu season);
- Are 18 or over living in long-stay residential care homes or other long-stay care facilities;
- Receive a carer's allowance, or are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
- Are a household contact of immunocompromised individuals who are aged 18 or over.
Frontline health and social care workers are also eligible to receive the flu vaccine. It is your employer's responsibility to arrange and pay for this vaccine.
For further information visit the NHS Choices Flu Page
Children's flu vaccine
The children's flu vaccine is offered as a yearly nasal spray to young children to help protect them against flu.
Flu can be a very unpleasant illness for children, with potentially serious complications, including bronchitis and pneumonia.
At what age should children have the nasal spray flu vaccine?
In the autumn/winter of 2018/19, the vaccine will be available free on the NHS for eligible children, including:
- children aged 2 and 3 on August 31 2018 – that is, children born between September 1 2014 and August 31 2016
- children in reception class and school years 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
- in some parts of the country, all primary school-aged children will be offered the vaccine (following a pilot in some areas)
- children aged 2 to 17 with long-term health conditions
Who will give the children's flu vaccination?
- Children aged 2 and 3 will be given the vaccination at their general practice, usually by the practice nurse.
- Children who are 4 years old are also eligible for flu vaccination provided they were 3 on August 31 2018. These children should be offered the vaccination at their general practice.
- Children in reception class and school years 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 will be offered their vaccination in school. In a couple of areas it might be offered in primary care settings.
- Children who are home educated will also be offered the vaccine, provided they are in an eligible age group. Parents can obtain information about arrangements from their local NHS England Public Health Commissioning team.
For further information visit NHS Choices Children Vaccinations Page