Signposting - Health & wellbeing - The Flu Vaccine


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Section: Signposting

Subsection: Signposting - Health & wellbeing

The Flu Vaccine

The flu vaccine is offered every year on the NHS to help protect people at risk of getting seriously ill from flu. The best time to have the flu vaccine is in the autumn or early winter before flu starts spreading.

The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to people who: -
• are 50 and over (including those who'll be 50 by 31st March 2022)
• have certain health conditions
• are pregnant
• are in long-stay residential care
• 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
• live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
• frontline health or social care workers

You can have the NHS flu vaccine at: -
• your GP surgery
• a pharmacy offering the service
• your midwifery service if you're pregnant
• a hospital appointment

Click [HERE] to find a pharmacy near you offering the NHS flu vaccine. Visit the [NHS website] to find more information about the flu vaccine.

The following groups of children are also entitled to a free NHS flu vaccine which is given as a nasal spray, rather than injection: -

• children aged 2 or 3 years on 31st August 2021: born between 1st September 2017 and 31st August 2019
• all primary school children (Reception to year 6)
• all year 7 to year 11 children in secondary school
• children aged 2 to 17 years with long-term health conditions

If your child is aged between 6 months and 2 years and has a long-term health condition that makes them at higher risk from flu, they'll be offered a flu vaccine injection instead of the nasal spray. More information about the flu vaccine for children can be found on the [NHS website].

Flu Vaccine Update - November 2021

The WPCC has been contacted by some parent carers who are concerned about the Flu vaccine programme in schools being delayed. The WPCC has contacted the B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BSW CCG) about this and has received a response from Virgin Care who are responsible for delivering the Flu and COVID 12-15 programmes in schools. Virgin Care has said they are aware of, and responding to queries from families in respect of the Flu programme.

The Flu programme was extended this year with the addition of school years 7-11 and as a service they had recruited to support the delivery of the programme. In September 2021, they were then asked to pick up the additional delivery of the Covid 12-15 Vaccination programme to ensure all schools were visited by the end of November 2021. Virgin Care recognises that Flu and COVID are of equal priority and they are working to minimise changes to planned visits for both Flu and COVID, but some changes have been and will continue to be needed, and Virgin Care apologises for these unavoidable changes.

Virgin Care is looking at other ways they can work with colleagues to complete the programme as quickly as possible with minimum disruption to existing services and plans. They appreciate this is frustrating and they recognise this is a rapidly changing picture that is working to deliver a complex vaccination programme to a significantly bigger population than in previous years.