Winter is on its way, which means it’s officially flu season and people who are the most vulnerable to illness are being urged to get their free vaccination, sooner rather than later.
The free flu vaccination will be offered to pregnant women, children aged two and three years old and adults with underlying health conditions. These groups are at particular risk from flu and vaccination is still the best protection there is. That’s why the flu vaccine is free – because eligible groups really need it.
For most children, the flu vaccine is not an injection, just a quick and easy nasal spray. Children aged two and three receive the vaccine through their GP and children in reception and school years 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 receive it in school. If you have a child who is of the eligible age, make sure you sign the consent form allowing them to have the flu vaccine at school.
As well as opening up the programme to more children, the NHS will also be offering a more effective ‘adjuvanted’ vaccine to those aged 65 and over, which helps their immune systems develop protection against flu.
For older people, this could reduce GP consultations by 30,000, hospitalisations by more than 2,000 and prevent over 700 hospital deaths from flu in England.
With more people eligible than ever before, getting the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from catching flu
To get your vaccine or find out if you are eligible, contact your GP, pharmacist or midwife for more information.