Immunisation and vaccination

Seasonal flu vaccination

Seasonal flu vaccination is available every year on the NHS to protect adults and children at risk of flu and its complications. It can be given as an injection or as a nasal spray.

Who should have this vaccine:

  • everyone aged 65 and over
  • everyone under 65 years of age who has a severe medical condition, including children and babies over 6 months of age
  • all pregnant women, at any stage of pregnancy
  • all 2- and 3-year-old children
  • everyone living in a residential or nursing home
  • everyone who cares for an older or disabled person
  • household contacts of anyone with a weakened defence system
  • all frontline health and social care workers

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

The best time to have a flu vaccine is in the autumn, from the beginning of October to early November, but you can have it until January. Ask your GP.

The flu vaccine is given as an annual nasal spray to:

  • children aged two to 18 years at risk of flu
  • healthy children aged two and three years

Read more about the flu nasal spray for children.

For more information on the vaccine, go to the NHS influenza vaccine web page.