Don’t miss out on your free NHS flu jab this autumn

2 mins read

Wednesday 7 September 2022

Tags: vaccination, health, nhs, flu vaccine, flu, winter viruses

Autumn is upon us, and it’s once again time to think about protecting our children and ourselves against flu and winter viruses.

Public health experts predict a surge in flu and other respiratory illnesses this winter as social contact returns to pre-pandemic norms.

That makes it even more important that you and your child don’t miss out on your annual free NHS flu jab.

Who is eligible for a free flu jab?

The following people are eligible for a free flu jab this year:

  • Children aged two or three years on 31 August 2022.
  • Primary school-aged children (from reception to Year 6).
  • Secondary school children in Years 7 to 11 (between 11 and 15 years of age on 31 August 2022).
  • Unpaid carers (see below).
  • Anyone aged six months or over in a clinical risk group.
  • Anyone aged 50 years or over (including those who turn 50 by 31 March 2023).
  • Close contacts of immunocompromised individuals.
  • Pregnant women
  • Anyone in long-stay residential care home
  • Frontline social care staff, including personal assistants employed via direct payments.

When and how do I get a flu jab?

The NHS will prioritise vaccinating older, frail and clinically-vulnerable patients during September.

It will invite over-50s not clinically vulnerable to receive their flu vaccines from mid-October.

If eligible for a free flu vaccine, you can book an appointment at your GP surgery or a pharmacy that offers it on the NHS.

You may also receive an invitation to get vaccinated, but you do not have to wait for this before booking an appointment. 

I’m a carer – can I get the jab?

Carers eligible for the flu vaccine are those either:

  • In receipt of Carer’s Allowance.
  • Who are “the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill”.

More information

Read our frequently asked questions on the flu vaccine for children and carers

This NHS webpage has a useful chart on where children can be vaccinated, depending on their age or clinical need. It also explains whether they should receive a nasal or injected vaccine.