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Flu vaccine: Who should have it and why

This year, it is especially important to get the flu vaccine. Many people who are most vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19 are also at risk from the flu. Take this opportunity to protect yourself and stay well over the winter months.

The flu vaccine is the best protection for you and those around you. It is available free of charge to those most at risk.

The following groups of people are encouraged to receive the free flu vaccine first:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children aged between two years old and 11
  • Member of a shielding household
  • Those aged 65 and above
  • Frontline health and social care workers

Those with a long-term health condition, such as:

  • A heart problem
  • A chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including bronchitis, emphysema or severe asthma
  • A kidney disease
  • Lowered immunity because of disease or treatment (such as steroid medication or cancer treatment)
  • Liver disease
  • Had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
  • Diabetes
  • A neurological condition, e.g. multiple sclerosis (MS), cerebral palsy
  • A learning disability
  • A problem with your spleen, e.g. sickle cell disease, or you have had your spleen removed
  • Are seriously overweight (BMI of 40 and above).

Second phase to help more people

Councillor Binda Rai, the council’s cabinet member for health and adults services, said: “Following those most at risk, a second phase of vaccination aims to offer vaccines to 50-64 year-olds who do not have any of the above-mentioned health conditions. We are still awaiting further information about this and will keep you updated.

“If you are a frontline worker or know someone in a high risk category that should have the vaccine, please advise them to get it done. By taking the vaccine as recommended you are helping to protect the NHS and ensuring we vaccinate those most at risk first. Get the flu vaccination, stay well and help protect the NHS.”

If you are not within the groups above, you are advised to wait until you are contacted about receiving your free flu vaccination. Keep a look out for updates from your local GP or NHS team and book your vaccination as soon as it is available at your local GP surgery.

You can read more about the Flu vaccination: who should have it this winter and why

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