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Who can have the flu vaccine?
The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to adults who:
- are 65 and over (including those who will be 65 by 31 March 2023)
- 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 a severe infection due to a weakened immune system, such as someone living with HIV, someone who has had a transplant, or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
- are frontline health workers
- are social care workers who cannot get the vaccine through an occupational health scheme at work
Starting from mid-October, people aged 50 years old or over (including those who will be 50 years old by 31 March 2023) can have a free NHS flu vaccine. This is so at-risk groups can be offered vaccination first.
If you’re in this age group and have a long-term health condition that puts you at risk from flu, you do not have to wait until mid-October.
Flu vaccine for people with long-term health conditions
The flu vaccine is offered free on the NHS to anyone with a serious long-term health condition, 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 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
Flu vaccine if you’re pregnant
You should have the flu vaccine if you’re pregnant to help protect you and your baby. It’s safe to have a flu vaccine at any stage of pregnancy.
Flu vaccine for children aged 2-3
- children aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2022 (born between 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2020) are eligible for the nasal flu vaccine at their GP Surgery.