The seasonal flu vaccination
The seasonal flu vaccine is given to millions of people in the UK each year. The specific strains of flu that are included may change from one year to the next and vaccines are thoroughly tested and are safe.
Who should get the flu vaccine?
The flu vaccine is routinely given on the NHS to:
- adults 65 and over
- people with certain medical conditions (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months of age)
- pregnant women
- children aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2019
- children in primary school
- frontline health or social care workers
Which type of flu vaccine should I have?
There are several types of flu vaccine.
You’ll be offered the one that’s most effective for your age:
- children aged 2 to 17 in an eligible group are offered a live attenuated quadrivalent vaccine (LAIV), given as a nasal spray
- adults aged 18 to 64 who are either pregnant, or at increased risk from flu because of a long-term health condition, are offered a quadrivalent injected vaccine – the vaccine offered will have been grown either in eggs or cells (QIVe or QIVc), which are considered to be equally suitable
- adults aged 65 and over will be offered either an adjuvanted trivalent injected vaccine grown in eggs (aTIV) or a cell-grown quadrivalent injected vaccine (QIVc) – both vaccines are considered to be equally suitable.
If your child is aged between 6 months and 2 years old and is in a high-risk group for flu, they’ll be offered an injected flu vaccine as the nasal spray is not licensed for children under 2.
Talk to a GP, practice nurse or pharmacist for more information about these vaccines.
If you are registered with a GP Practice in Bristol, North Somerset, Somerset or South Gloucestershire, you will currently be able to receive a vaccination from your GP practice or a pharmacy until 31st March 2020. Speak to your GP.
Some community pharmacies now offer flu vaccination to adults (but not children) at risk of flu including pregnant women, people aged 65 and over, people with long-term health conditions and carers. To find your nearest pharmacy text ‘Pharmacy Flu’ and your post code to 80011.
You can find further information on seasonal flu- including common symptoms and treatment options – by visiting the NHS Choices website or by downloading the flu leaflet and vaccination booklet from this page.