Protect yourself, your loved ones and the NHS this winter by getting your flu jab


City and Hackney residents at higher risk from developing severe seasonal flu (influenza) are being urged to have a free flu vaccine this autumn, as we enter the flu season. Anyone can catch the flu, but it can be a much worse illness for people at higher risk.

You can help prevent the spread of flu (and coronavirus) by covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, washing your hands frequently or using hand gels, and throwing any used tissues in the bin as soon as possible.

Getting a flu vaccination can help to protect you from flu and avoid putting pressure on the NHS.

Speak to your GP, practice nurse or pharmacist today to book a vaccination appointment, to get the best possible protection. If you are concerned about visiting your GP or pharmacy because of coronavirus, please feel reassured that our healthcare services have all the necessary protocols in place to protect you and can answer any questions you may have. They may also be able to make alternative arrangements if you think you may struggle to get to a GP surgery or pharmacy. 

People most at risk from flu and eligible for a free flu jab from September include:

  • all adults 65 and over
  • all children aged 2 to 11 
  • people with certain medical conditions making them at risk (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months of age)
    • chronic (long-term) respiratory disease, such as severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchitis 
    • chronic heart disease, such as heart failure 
    • chronic kidney disease 
    • chronic liver disease 
    • chronic neurological disease, such as Parkinson’s disease or motor neurone disease
    • learning disability 
    • diabetes 
    • a weakened immune system due to disease (such as HIV/AIDS) or treatment (such as cancer treatment) 
    • morbidly obese (defined as BMI of 40 and above)
  • all pregnant women
  • people living with someone who's at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
  • all frontline health or social care workers
  • people who receive a carer's allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
  • adults aged 50 to 64 may also be eligible later on in the season - more details to follow

If you belong to one of the groups mentioned above, it is important that you have the flu vaccination this season even if you were vaccinated last year. The flu virus frequently changes, so the vaccine is different from year to year to keep up with it. The flu vaccination does not provide protection against coronavirus.For pregnant women, the vaccine may also be available through maternity services and for frontline health and social care workers, arrangements can be made through your employer.

Children will be offered the flu vaccine through their school. It is very important that parents sign and return the flu vaccine consent form for their child. 

Cllr Chris Kennedy, Cabinet Member for Health, Adult Social Care and Leisure
Flu can have serious consequences and vulnerable people can die of it. Having the vaccine protects you, and helps reduce transmission to others. 

With COVID-19 still circulating, we need to help reduce all avoidable risks. Vaccinating more people will help reduce flu transmission and stop people becoming ill. The flu vaccine is the best defence we have against what can be a serious and even deadly illness.

This winter, more people than ever will be offered a free flu vaccine. We are urging anyone who is eligible to take up the offer of vaccination. By getting the jab, you can help protect yourself, your family and the NHS – it will help save lives.
Cllr Chris Kennedy, Cabinet Member for Health, Adult Social Care and Leisure
Dr Sandra Husbands, Director of Public Health for Hackney and the City and Dr Deborah Colvin City and Hackney GP Confederation
“It is more important than ever this year that eligible people are getting the flu vaccination to prevent a spike in flu cases and a possible second spike of coronavirus happening at the same time, causing a lot of illness and overwhelming the NHS this winter. 

The flu vaccine protects the individual but also stops flu spreading around the community. We have a vaccination for the flu, something we don’t yet have for coronavirus. 

Flu vaccinations have saved millions of people over the years from catching the flu, which means less illness and fewer GP appointments and hospital admissions, so we can spare the NHS this winter. 

So do your bit for community immunity this winter, get the flu vaccine, stay safe, protect your community and save the NHS.
Dr Sandra Husbands, Director of Public Health for Hackney and the City and Dr Deborah Colvin City and Hackney GP Confederation
Dr Mark Rickets, GP and Chair of NHS City & Hackney CCG
Getting a free NHS flu vaccination is a quick and simple way that people can help to save lives and reduce pressure on our hardworking frontline staff this winter. GPs, nurses, community pharmacists and others will be going to great lengths this year to give this vital protection to millions more people in a safe and convenient way, so when the time comes I would urge everyone invited for a flu vaccination to get it as soon as possible. All frontline health and social care workers will also be urged to get their free vaccine to protect themselves and their patients or residents from the flu.
Dr Mark Rickets, GP and Chair of NHS City & Hackney CCG