England launches biggest ever flu vaccination campaign

Get your flu jab

England’s National Health Service (NHS) has launched its biggest winter flu vaccination campaign yet, with 30 million people being offered the vaccine for free.

This includes every primary school-age child in England, those with underlying health conditions, pregnant women and older adults.

“Every winter there is always the threat of a bad flu season. Flu is a serious illness and can even be deadly for the most vulnerable of our population,” said Professor Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England. “That’s why it’s vital that we are prepared and always working to offer people better protection. This year, more vaccines are available, and every primary school child will be offered a flu vaccine. Children are ‘super spreaders’ of flu. Flu vaccination not only protects the children, but it also protects other more vulnerable members of the community from a potentially horrible illness.”

Those at risk of flu are being encouraged to act and be vaccinated

Although the flu can be unpleasant, it tends to clear up by itself. In more vulnerable populations, though, the virus can be more severe. This includes anyone aged 65 and over, pregnant women, children and adults with an underlying health condition (such as long-term heart or respiratory disease) and children and adults with weakened immune systems. These risk groups are advised to have the flu vaccine on an annual basis to protect them from potentially developing serious complications of flu, such as pneumonia.

Those at risk of flu are being encouraged to act and be vaccinated. Professor Doyle said that those in eligible groups and their children should ensure they get a flu vaccine: “It’s the best defence we have against an unpredictable virus.”

“NHS services across England have been working hard to prepare for the winter season, including staff in every part of the country getting their flu jab in the coming weeks, so now we’re appealing to the public to ‘help us, help you’ by ensuring that you, your children or relatives take up the free and convenient flu vaccine as soon as you can,” said Professor Stephen Powis, National Medical Director at NHS England.