This year it is more important than ever that you take the offer to get your free flu jab if you’re eligible.
The Flu Vaccine is a very important. Each year our hospitals see an increase of patients due to those suffering from flu. People who develop flu are at risk of further complications such as bronchitis or pneumonia.
We are fortunate in the West Midlands that most people recognise the importance of the Flu Vaccine. However, there is still room for improvement.
Find a pharmacy that offers the NHS flu vaccine
Who is eligible?
The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to people who are:
- 50 and over (including those who’ll be 50 by 31 March 2022)
- 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 infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
- frontline health or social care workers.
Where to get the flu vaccine
You can have the NHS flu vaccine at:
- your GP surgery
- a pharmacy offering the service
- your midwifery service if you’re pregnant
- a hospital appointment.
If you do not have your flu vaccine at your GP surgery, you do not have to tell the surgery. This will be done for you.
Find out more about protecting yourself and your loved ones from Flu
Getting the flu vaccination is important because:
- more people are likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the COVID-19 pandemic
- if you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time, research shows you’re more likely to be seriously ill
- getting vaccinated against flu will provide protection for you and those around you.
The extension of the seasonal flu vaccination programme aims to lower the public health impact of flu by:
- providing direct protection thus preventing a large number of cases of flu infection
- providing indirect protection by lowering flu transmission:
- to other children
- to adults
- to those in the clinical risk groups of any age
Reducing flu transmission in the community averts many cases of severe flu and flu-related deaths in older adults and people with clinical risk factors.
Types of vaccination
There are two main types of vaccine available:
- inactivated – given by injection
- live attenuated – given by nasal application