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The free flu jab

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Flu is an unpredictable virus that can cause mild or unpleasant illness in most people.

It can cause severe illness and even death among vulnerable groups including older people, pregnant women and people with an underlying health condition.

Certain people are more likely to develop potentially serious complications of flu, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. These people are advised to have a flu jab each year.

The injected flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to people who are at risk. This is to ensure they are protected against catching flu and developing serious complications.

You are eligible to receive a free flu jab if you: 

  • are 65 years of age or over   
  • are pregnant 
  • have certain medical conditions 
  • are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility 
  • receive a carer's allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill 

Front-line health and social care workers are also eligible to receive the flu vaccine. It is your employer's responsibility to arrange and pay for this vaccine.


The free flu vaccine is also available to:

  • children over the age of six months with a long-term health condition
  • children aged two or three years on 31 August 2019
  • children in primary schools

Eligible children between six months and two years will receive an injected flu vaccine.

Eligible children aged two to 17 will usually have the flu vaccine nasal spray.

Watch our videos below to learn more about why it's so important to have the free flu jab if you're entitled to it.