Who is eligible for the free flu vaccine in England?

4 October 2022, 10:44

Woman blowing her nose and feeling unwell
The flu vaccine can help fight the huge predicted surge. Picture: Getty

By Zoe Adams

Winter is here and health officials are predicting an early wave of flu for the UK- here's everything you need to know about getting the flu jab.

As the colder months creep in, so do the germs, and this year experts are urging everyone to get their flu jabs pronto.

Health officials have already predicted a big early wave of the virus for 2022 as we continue to mix more following years of tight Covid restrictions.

Typically, flu symptoms include feeling feverish, a cough, a sore throat, fatigue, headaches and muscle and body aches - these can last up to two weeks and you will usually get better on your own.

However, the flu can be a serious illness for some children and adults, especially those with underlying health conditions.

With this in mind, here's who is eligible for a free flu jab and what to do if you're not:

Woman waiting for flu vaccine
England offer free flub jabs to a number of children and adults. Picture: Alamy

Who can get a free flu jab?

In England, you should receive a message from your local GP inviting you for your flu jab if you are entitled to a free one. You will be asked to come along in priority order meaning the youngest and oldest will get their jabs first.

The flu vaccine is offered to the below people and categories for a free dose:

  • Frontline health and social care workers
  • Those aged 50 and over
  • Those who have certain health conditions (your GP will contact you if you're eligible)
  • If you are pregnant
  • If you are in long-stay residential care
  • Whether you care for an older or disabled person

A free nasal spray form of the vaccine has also been designed for children and can be given to:

  • 2 and 3 year olds
  • All primary school children
  • Secondary school children in years 7, 8 and 9
  • Children ages six months to 17 who have long-term health conditions
Children receive their flu vaccine via a nasal spray
Children receive their flu vaccine via a nasal spray. Picture: Alamy

Can I pay for a flu jab?

Yes - the flu vaccine is available in most pharmacies and even some supermarkets.

They cost around £15 and will depend on vaccine supplies whether they're available or not.

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