Flu vaccinations

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Protect yourself and those around you with the flu vaccination

“Just” the flu?

Each year the flu kills on average 11,000 people and hospitalises thousands more. There’s no just about it.

The flu virus spreads from person to person, even amongst those not showing symptoms. The flu vaccine is the best protection for you and those around you. It’s available for free to those most at risk. Download the flu leaflet.

A list of flu mythbusters can be found here.

This winter, many more people are eligible to have the free flu vaccine

This year, the NHS is vaccinating more people than in previous years. 

If you are eligible for a free vaccination, your GP practice will contact you directly by letter or text to arrange it.

Patients who are over 65 years old or who have certain medical conditions will be invited first for their vaccination. You can see the list below of who is eligible to receive the free flu vaccination this winter. Once these highest-risk groups have been vaccinated, other groups will be invited for their flu vaccination. 

By having the flu vaccination, you will help protect yourself and others from what can be a severe, and sometimes fatal, illness which could lead to a hospital treatment.

Frequently asked questions about the flu vaccination

The frequently asked questions below may also answer some of your questions about getting the flu vaccination this winter.

Is the flu vaccination safe?

The flu vaccination is safe and effective and must be given annually. It cannot give you the flu. It does not protect you from COVID-19 or seasonal coughs and colds, but it does give protection against the strains of flu virus that will be circulating this year.

Adults usually receive the flu vaccination in injection form, and children usually receive a nasal spray.

When can I get the flu vaccination?

We expect that the flu vaccination will be available from September/October 2020 onwards. You will be invited to book a vaccination appointment at around this time, but please contact your GP practice if not.

Where can I get the flu vaccination?

Many people will receive their flu vaccination at a GP surgery as usual. Others may go to a pharmacy or another location in their community. Details of where to get the vaccination will be included in your invite.

School-aged children will receive their vaccination from a trained health professional at school or in their community. Health professionals will also visit care homes to vaccinate residents on-site.

Is it safe to attend appointments at health clinics?

NHS premises are safe, it is really important you attend to get your flu vaccination this winter.

You are at greater risk of having a serious illness if you don’t have the flu jab.

The NHS is doing everything it can to make sure that vaccinations are given in safe environments. All possible precautions will be to taken to make sure you, and staff, are protected.

Continue to follow all government advice on face coverings, hand washing and social distancing when you attend a health service and please do not attend a GP practice or pharmacy if you have any symptoms of Covid19 or you have been asked to isolate by the NHS track and trace service.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, do not attend your vaccination appointment but instead self-isolate and book a coronavirus test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. You can rebook your flu vaccination appointment at a later date.

How will I know if I have the flu or COVID-19?

The flu virus and COVID-19 have symptoms which are the same, such a high temperature or persistent cough. It may be difficult to tell which virus you have. For this reason, it’s really important that you have a flu vaccination if you are eligible, and that you continue to follow the guidance on self-isolation and testing at nhs.uk/coronavirus if you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19.

There has never been a more important time to make sure you, and those you care for, are protected against serious illnesses such as the flu. Where vaccines are available, it’s vital that we use them to help keep everyone safe. Look out for updates from your local GP or NHS team and book your vaccination as soon as they are available. Get the flu vaccination, stay well and protect the NHS.

More information can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/who-should-have-flu-vaccine

GOV.UK also provides Easy Read guides to flu vaccination 

Quiz - key flu messages 2020

Click to download this free quiz!

Use this powerpoint guide to start discussions within your community and raise awareness of this year’s key flu messages.

The aim is to help people protect themselves and others from the flu this winter – click to download and find out who is eligible for the free flu jab, the similarities between covid & flu, and much more - see how many questions you can get right!

Social media assets - English

Twitter assets 

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Flu can be serious. Protect yourself and others. Get the flu jab

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Flu can be serious. Protect yourself and others. Get the flu jab (with SIr Trevor McDonald).

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Pregnant women should get their free flu jab. 

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Children aged 2-11 can get a free flu vaccination.

Facebook assets

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Short copy - Sir Trevor

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Long copy

Social media assets in translation

We have translated the social assets below into the following languages: Arabic, Bengali, Farsi, Gujurati, Kurdish, Polish, Portoguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Somali, Tamil, and Tigrinya.

Please download the translated graphics at the links below to amplify and share on your digital channels. 

1. 'Flu can be serious'

Flu can be serious. Protect yourself and others. Get the flu jab.

Flu jab graphic - shorter copy

Download 'Flu can be serious' asset in 13 languages

2. "Just" the flu?

"Just" the flu? Each year the flu kills on average 11,000 people. There's no 'just' about it. 

The flu vaccine helps to protect you and the people around you, and it's free to those most at risk. 

Ask your GP or pharmacist.

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Download 'Just the flu?' asset in 13 languages

Who is eligible to receive the free flu vaccine this winter?

  • Pregnant women
  • Children aged 2- 11 
  • Member of a shielding household
  • Those aged 65 and over
  • Frontline health and social care workers
  • Those with a long-term health condition (LTHC) such as:
    • a heart problem
    • a chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including bronchitis, emphysema or severe asthma
    • a kidney disease
    • lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (such as steroid medication or cancer treatment)
    • liver disease
    • had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
    • diabetes
    • a neurological condition, e.g. multiple sclerosis (MS), cerebral palsy
    • a learning disability
    • a problem with your spleen, e.g. sickle cell disease, or you have had your spleen removed
    • are seriously overweight (BMI of 40 and above)

Following those most at risk, the second phase of the campaign will target 50-64-year olds (who do not have any of the above-mentioned health conditions). This will take place later in the year, once the first group have been vaccinated. 

Please help the NHS to vaccinate those most at risk first. If you are not in this list of higher risk patients, please wait until you are contacted about receiving your free flu vaccination.

Why have the flu jab? - video playlist in different languages