Influenza Vaccine 2020 -2021

17th Dec 2020


Who can have the flu vaccine?

You can get a free flu vaccine if you:

  • are 65 years old and over (including those aged 65 by 31 March 2021)
  • have certain health conditions
  • live with someone who is on the NHS Shielded Patient List
  • are pregnant
  • receive a carer’s allowance
  • are the main carer of an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick

Children aged 2 to 11 on 31 August 2020 are also eligible for the flu vaccine (with 2- and 3-year-olds offered it in GP surgeries and school-aged children offered it in school).

You can get the flu vaccine at your GP surgery or a pharmacy if you’re a health and social care worker employed by a:

  • registered residential care or nursing home
  • registered homecare organisation
  • hospice

You can also get the flu vaccine at your GP surgery or a pharmacy if you provide health or social care through direct payments or personal health budgets.

This year the free flu vaccine will be offered to healthy 50- to 64-year-olds later in the season. People in this age bracket with a health condition that makes them more at risk from flu will be offered it sooner.

Visit NHS.UK to check whether you are eligible.


You may be able to get your vaccine elsewhere if your GP practice or pharmacy has run out

If you are eligible for the free flu vaccine, you can get it from your own GP practice or any pharmacy offering NHS flu vaccinations. They should be able to tell you when they next expect to be able to offer you a vaccine.

Pregnant women can ask their maternity provider for the free flu vaccine and some of those visiting hospitals, either as in- or out-patients, may also be offered the flu vaccine there.

17th Dec 2020

Information about the extended programme

Who is the programme being extended to?

Vaccinations are continuing to be offered to those in priority groups (such as those with long term health conditions), but there is now suffcient vaccine available to offer it to all those aged 50 to 64 years old regardless of whether they have a long-term health condition.

Why has the fu vaccination programme been extended?

The fu virus kills thousands of people every year and hospitalises tens of thousands more. The aim of the programme is to protect those most at risk from fu (such as older people, pregnant women and those with long term health conditions). This winter, with COVID-19 in circulation, the programme is being extended to those aged 50 and over because this is the age at which hospitalisations for COVID-19 start to increase. It is important to prevent fu in this group, to protect these people from serious illness and reduce hospitalisations from fu. Also, research shows that if you get both fu and COVID-19 at the same time you may be more seriously ill. So vaccination is especially important this winter.

What should I do?

If you are aged 50 to 64 years old (including those who turn 50 by 31 March 2021) then during either December or January you will be invited to attend your GP surgery for the vaccine or you may contact any pharmacy offering NHS fu vaccinations. If you have a long-term health condition that puts you more at risk from fu, you are in one of the priority groups who should not delay getting the vaccine. Visit to check the type of health conditions that this includes.

Which fu vaccine will I be offered?

There are several types of fu vaccine available, including an additional one this winter that has been used in the USA for several years. There are vaccines that have low-egg content and egg-free vaccines. The injectable fu vaccines do not contain live viruses. None of the fu vaccines can give you flu.

Talk to a GP, practice nurse or pharmacist for more information about these vaccines or visit