Flu - Staying safe in winter

With the cold weather approaching, it’s very important that people who are at increased risk from flu have their free flu vaccination every year. The jab is available on the NHS to protect adults (and some 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, flu can be more severe in certain people such as:

  • Anyone over the age of 65
  • Pregnant women
  • Children and adults with an underlying health condition (particularly long-term heart or respiratory disease)
  • Children aged 2, 3 and 4 years old should have the flu vaccine nasal spray

Anyone in these risk groups is more likely to develop potentially serious complications of flu, such as pneumonia (a lung infection), so it’s recommended that they have a flu vaccine every year to protect them.

The flu vaccine for people in risk groups is available free on the NHS – so contact your GP practice to arrange an appointment.

There are many myths surround flu and the flu vaccine. Visit NHS choices to get the 10 most common. Or watch the myth busting video

Flu vaccine for children

Public Health England has published a quick reference guide to the childhood flu vaccines for winter 2015 to 2016.  Which flu vaccine should children have? is a chart which indicates whether children should get the ‘live’ nasal spray vaccine or the inactivated injected flu vaccine.