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Flu vaccination: winter 2021/2022

The flu virus is unpredictable and highly contagious. Vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, and those most at risk can get it for FREE.

Last updated: 15 November 2021

Boost your immunity this winter

Each year the flu kills on average 11,000 people and hospitalises more. So don’t risk it. If you are eligible for the flu vaccine, make sure you get vaccinated to boost your immunity this winter.

It’s available free to those most at risk. Ask your GP for more information.

Facts about flu

Who can get the flu jab?

You should have the free flu jab if you are over 50, pregnant or have a long-term condition such as:

  • a heart problem
  • a chest complaint or serious breathing difficulties (including bronchitis, emphysema or some people with 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, such as multiple sclerosis (MS) or cerebral palsy
  • a learning disability
  • a problem with your spleen (such as sickle cell disease) or you have had your spleen removed
  • you are seriously overweight (BMI of 40 and above)

This list is not definitive; Public Health England provides more guidance on this. Your GP can assess whether the flu will make your underlying illness worse. 

Flu vaccination for children

Every year, the flu vaccine is offered as a nasal spray to children to help protect them against flu. 

It is available from GPs or at school through Vaccination UK and it is free for:

  • children aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2021 – born between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2019
  • all primary school children (reception to year 6)
  • all year 7 to year 11 children in secondary school
  • children aged 2 to 17 years with long-term health conditions

Some children might be eligible for a flu jab instead of the nasal spray. Speak to your GP or school nurse to learn more about this option.

Learn more about the flu vaccination for children on the NHS website.