Aged 50 plus? Have you had a flu vaccination yet?

The flu vaccination is now available for free for everyone aged 50 and over. You can get vaccinated at your GP surgery or a pharmacy offering a flu vaccine service.

The flu virus kills thousands of people every year and hospitalises tens of thousands more. This winter, with Covid-19 in circulation, the programme is being extended to those aged 50 and over to protect from serious illness and reduce hospitalisations from flu.

Vaccinations are continuing to be offered to those in priority groups, including those that provide health or social care, but there is now sufficient vaccine available to offer it to anyone aged 50 to 64 years old regardless of whether they have a long-term health condition.

If you are aged 50 to 64 years old (including those who turn 50 by 31 March 2021) you will be invited to attend your GP surgery for the vaccine during either December or January. You may also contact any pharmacy offering NHS flu vaccinations, but please ring in advance to book a time.

Stock of the vaccines is being released gradually. Please be patient and check the availability of flu vaccination appointments with your local pharmacy or GP.

The flu vaccine is a safe and effective vaccine. It's offered every year on the NHS to help protect people at risk of flu and its complications.

Who is eligible for a free flu vaccination?

The groups now eligible for a free vaccination from the NHS are:

  • adults aged 50 or over
  • pregnant women
  • those with certain pre-existing conditions
  • NHS and social care workers
  • all children up to year 7
  • household contacts of those who are clinically extremely vulnerable

Flu vaccine and Covid-19

Getting the flu vaccination is particularly important this year because:

  • if you're at higher risk from coronavirus, you're also more at risk of problems from flu
  • if you get flu and coronavirus at the same time, research shows you're more likely to be seriously ill
  • it'll help to reduce pressure on the NHS and social care staff who may be dealing with coronavirus

If you've had Covid-19, it's safe to have the flu vaccine.

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Vitamin D

During autumn and winter, you are advised to take vitamin D to keep your bones and muscles healthy and to support your general health. You should take 10 micrograms (400 IU) of vitamin D a day between October and early March.

These supplements are not suitable for everyone. Read how to take vitamin D supplements safely on GOV.UK.

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