Flu is unpredictable. The vaccine provides the best protection available against a virus that can cause severe illness. The most likely viruses that will cause flu are identified in advance of the flu season and vaccines are then made to match them as closely as possible. The vaccines are given in the autumn ideally before flu starts circulating. During the last ten years the vaccine has generally been a good match for the circulating strains.
It is more important than ever this year to have your vaccination to protect yourself, your loved ones and the NHS, and for those on the eligible list the vaccine is provided free.
Along with seasonal bugs, slips and falls, and the flu, the NHS may also be treating patients with COVID-19 this winter. Hospitals and emergency services are likely to be busier than in previous years.
You should have the flu vaccine if you:
- are 65 years old or over
- are pregnant
- are an adult or child with certain conditions
- live with someone on the shielded patient list
- are living in a care home or other long-stay facility
- receive a carer’s allowance, or you’re the main carer for an elderly or disabled person
- are aged two – three
- are in primary school, or the first year of secondary school (Year 7)
- are a frontline health and social care worker
- are aged 50-64 (but please note that vaccinations will be given later in the year for this group. Those at higher risk will receive their vaccine first).
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