Over the last few years, the flu vaccination programme has been expanded to cover more groups of people than ever before. This was mainly due to the lack of exposure to bugs during COVID-19 with lockdowns and mask-wearing.
This year, things are returning to pre-COVID vaccination eligibility. The NHS prepares each year for the flu season. For most healthy people, flu is a self-limiting illness that they will recover from reasonably quickly.
There are some groups of people where the illness could be more severe and cause more problems for them.
Who is eligible for a free flu vaccine in the 2023 to 2024 season?:
- those aged 65 years and over
- those aged 6 months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups
- pregnant women
- all children aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2023
- primary school aged children (from reception to year 6)
- all secondary school pupils in years 7 to 11
- those in long-stay residential care homes
- carers in receipt of carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person.
- close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
- frontline workers in a social care setting without an employer led occupational health scheme including those working for a registered residential care or nursing home, registered domiciliary care providers, voluntary managed hospice providers and those that are employed by those who receive direct payments (personal budgets) or personal health budgets, such as personal assistants.
How can I get a flu vaccine if I am no longer eligible for an NHS vaccine?
Many employers offer free vaccines to their staff either through their Occupational Health provider or through voucher schemes. Speak with your manager or HR department to see if this is something they are providing.
Speak with your local pharmacy as they may be offering flu vaccines, which you can pay for if you would still like to have the vaccine this year.
What are the benefits of having the flu vaccine if I am not in an ‘at risk’ group?
No vaccine is 100%, but if you do get the flu, it will be a milder illness if you are vaccinated.
By preventing you from getting it, you are less likely to pass it on to those people in your life who are more vulnerable, such as the ones in the group listed above.
For further information about who is eligible on the NHS, see: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/
If you are a Business owner, Manager or HR Professional and would like to have flu vaccines administered in your workplace, then please get in touch at 02380 475000 or email us at email@example.com