This year’s annual flu shot will offer protection against four of the influenza viruses expected to be in circulation this flu season. High-dose flu vaccines will be available for adults aged 50 and older.
Influenza is a respiratory infection that can cause serious complications, particularly in young children, older adults and people with certain medical conditions. Getting an influenza vaccine — though not 100% effective — is the best way to prevent the misery of the flu and its complications.
It can be serious for many people and can make you feel really poorly. If you’re not sure whether to get the flu vaccination or why you should get the flu jab again this year, perhaps the benefits will help change your mind.
Getting the flu vaccine:
- Gives the best protection against flu
- Protects you against this year’s strain of flu
- Means if you do get the flu after you’ve been vaccinated your symptoms will be milder
- Helps protect those around you who may not be able to get the jab
- Lowers the risk of serious complications for those who are more prone to catching flu
- Will prevent you from being seriously ill if you also get coronavirus at the same time
NHS flu jabs are available in England, Wales & Scotland. The eligible groups vary in each country, so it is best to check if you are eligible.
You will qualify for a free NHS flu jab in England and Wales if you:
- Are over 50 (including those who will turn 50 by 31st March 2022)
- Live with someone who’s at high risk of coronavirus (on the NHS Shielded patient list)
- Are pregnant
- Have certain long-term health conditions (e.g. diabetes, asthma, a heart condition or a neurological condition such as Parkinson’s disease)
- Are a frontline health or social care worker
- Are in a long-stay residential care home
- Are a carer (you may be receiving carers allowance, or be the main carer for someone elderly or disabled)
- Have a learning disability
- Are severely overweight
Flu can be serious, and each year causes thousands of people to go to hospital and hundreds of deaths. If you have a heart or circulatory condition, or if you’re older, you’re more at risk of becoming seriously ill from flu, even if you currently feel well. If you have already had a heart attack, getting the flu puts you at greater risk of having another heart attack.
With coronavirus still circulating, it’s vital to get the flu jab to reduce your risk of getting both illnesses at once, which could make you even more unwell. Getting the flu jab is also one of the best things you can do to help the NHS. More people getting the jab means fewer people who will need treatment for flu at a time when hospitals could struggle if coronavirus cases rise again.
In every UK nation the flu programme has been expanded this year, to offer free flu jabs for more people.
The flu vaccine is different for adults and children. See the links below for more information on the flu vaccine programme: