This year it is more important than ever that people at risk of getting flu have a free flu vaccination. The vaccine will help protect you against flu, which is an unpleasant and potentially serious infection, and it will reduce the risk of you passing flu to other.
If you are at risk from the complications of flu you will receive an invitation from your GP practice to attend a flu clinic. This includes those with long term conditions such as severe asthma, COPD, diabetes and heart conditions, members of a shielding household, people over 65 years and pregnant women. Information on who is eligible for a free flu vaccination can be found here.
Helping to protect against flu is particularly important with COVID-19 in circulation because people vulnerable to COVID-19 are also at risk of complications from flu.
If you are invited by your GP practice to attend a flu clinic it is important that you do so, the flu vaccine won’t protect you against COVID-19, however it will help protect you against flu, which is an unpleasant and potentially serious infection.
To maintain social distancing flu clinics will be delivered in different ways this year, to make sure patients and staff are kept safe. Your practice will let you know how they will be delivering flu clinics before your appointment.
If you’re aged 50 to 64 and don’t normally get a flu vaccine you may be offered one this year. This will be from November onwards, please wait to be invited by your GP practice. Flu vaccines will go to the most at risk first.
Have you been asked to wait for your flu vaccination?
Overall there is enough flu vaccine for everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated before the flu season starts, which is usually in December. Flu vaccine is delivered to GP practices, pharmacies and other services in batches in the run up to and over flu season. This year, early demand for flu vaccine has been higher than usual. This has meant that while a lot of people have been able to get vaccinated, some people have not been able to get vaccinated straight away as some GP practices and pharmacies have used their early supplies of flu vaccine, due to the level of demand. If you are eligible and haven’t been able to get your free vaccination yet, you will still be able to have it before flu season starts.
The priority this year is to vaccinate those who are most at risk from flu first, including people of all ages who have a health condition that makes them more at risk from flu. For 50 to 64 year olds, who do not have a health condition that puts them at risk from flu, you will be offered the vaccine later on and should wait to be invited for a vaccination.