[Skip to content]



Influenza (flu) is a highly infectious disease caused by influenza viruses. The influenza virus attacks the respiratory tract (the ear, nose and throat). The virus is mainly spread by respiratory droplets in the air produced by coughing or sneezing. Although most people recover from flu within a week, for some people the infection is more serious and leads to complications. These illnesses may require treatment in hospital and can be life threatening especially in the elderly, people with heart or chest disease and those in poor health.

The Flu jab protects against the most common strains of the virus, which change each year.

Who should have the flu jab?

The vaccine is recommended for:

  • All those aged 65 years and over.
  • All those aged 6 months or over in a clinical risk group
  • Those living in long-stay residential care homes or other long-stay care facilities where rapid spread is likely to follow introduction of infection and cause high morbidity and mortality (this does not include prisons, young offender institutions, university halls of residence etc).
  • Those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill. This should be given on an individual basis at the GP’s discretion in the context of other clinical risk groups in their practice.
  • Pregnant Women
  • Children aged 2 - 16 years*

*Phased introduction between 2013-2015/16, for further information please contact your GP Practice

Pregnant Women

It is recommended that all pregnant women, at any stage of pregnancy, receive the seasonal flu vaccine. This is because pregnant women are more prone to complications from flu, which can cause very serious illness for both the mother and her baby.


Where should I get my flu jab?

Ask your GP about the flu jab. A new vaccine is produced each year due to the ongoing changes of the virus, so you will need to get a jab each year to keep yourself protected. Your GP will be offering the vaccine each year between September and January.

For further information:

More about Flu - http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Flu/Pages/Introduction.aspx

If you require information about immunisations, the diseases they prevent or any side effects from vaccines we would recommend contacting your GP.