Flu

The flu vaccination is available every year on the NHS to help protect adults and children at risk of flu and its complications. 

​Flu can be unpleasant, but if you are otherwise healthy it will usually clear up on its own within a week. However, for certain vulnerable people (the very old, very young, pregnant women and people with a chronic disease) flu can be much more severe.

 

Did you know that flu can't be treated with antibiotics? Flu is caused by viruses - antibiotics can only work against bacteria.

You should have the flu vaccine free of charge if you:

  • are 65 years old or over or in school years 1 to 6
  • are pregnant
  • have certain medical conditions (including children)
  • are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility
  • are a front-line health and care worker or are a main carer for someone who is elderly or disabled

How we can help

You can have your NHS flu vaccine at:

  • your GP surgery
  • a local pharmacy offering the service
  • your midwifery service if they offer it for pregnant women

Myth busting

​Not true. The injected flu vaccine that is given to adults contains inactivated flu viruses, so it can't give you flu. Some people get a slight temperature and aching muscles for a couple of days afterwards, but other reactions are very rare.

​Not true. The viruses that cause flu can change every year, so you need a vaccination each year that matches the new viruses. The vaccine usually provides protection for the duration of the flu season that year.

​Not true. You should have the vaccine whatever stage of pregnancy you are in. If you're pregnant, you could get very ill if you get flu which could also be bad for your baby. Having the jab can also protect your baby against flu after they're born and during the early months of life.

Find out more about the flu vaccine