Flu can be unpleasant, but if you’re otherwise healthy, it’ll usually clear up on its own in about a week.
This year the flu vaccine is being offered on the NHS to:
- adults aged 65 and over (including those who will be 65 by 31 March 2024)
- people with certain medical conditions (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months of age. See list below)
- pregnant women
- people living with someone who’s at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
- children aged 2 and 3
- are the main carer for someone
The flu vaccine is offered free on the NHS to people with certain long-term health conditions, including:
- respiratory conditions, such as asthma (needing a steroid inhaler or tablets), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and bronchitis
- heart conditions, such as coronary heart disease or heart failure
- being very overweight – a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above
- chronic kidney disease
- liver disease, such as cirrhosis or hepatitis
- some neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), or cerebral palsy
- a learning disability
- problems with your spleen like sickle cell disease, or if you’ve had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system as a result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or taking medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
Anyone in these risk groups is more likely to develop potentially serious complications of flu, such as pneumonia (a lung infection), so it’s recommended that they have a flu vaccine every year to help protect them.
If you, or a dependent of yours, is aged six months or older and falls in one of the groups above (or you have received a flu vaccination invitation letter you will be eligible for the flu vaccination). The vaccine offers you the best possible protection against the main flu strains in circulation this winter.
For more information please visit: www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/
Visit https://www.nwlondonicb.nhs.uk/Winter/flu for more information and flu myth busters
It is important that you have the right information when making any descision about taking a new medicine or vaccination. False information can lead to some not being able to make an informed choice.